• To measure the impact of seed firmers and properly set row cleaners on corn yield potential.
• Previous work at the Monmouth Learning Center has illustrated the importance of proper planter settings and their impact on even emergence:
— The Value of Proper Planter Settings – 2017 Monmouth Learning Center Demonstration Report
— Click on the following link to view the Monmouth Learning Center video talking about planter settings recorded Spring of 2018. https://vimeo.com/262847274
• Choice of equipment can affect seed placement, seed-to-soil contact, and the quality of the seedbed. These factors can impact evenness of seedling emergence and stand establishment, ultimately impacting yield.
Research Site Details
• This was a repeat of a trial we conducted in 2017 on no-till, continuous corn. In 2018, the trial was located in a field with conventional tillage and in the second year of corn production.
• Treatments included:
— Properly-set row cleaners with seed firmers
— Properly-set row cleaners without seed firmers
— Improperly-set row cleaners (not enough pressure) with seed firmers
— Improperly-set row cleaners without seed firmers
• Each treatment had two replications.
Understanding the Results
• When both seed firmers and row cleaners were used and set correctly, the two-year average yield was 287.6 bu/acre.
• With properly-set row cleaners and seed firmers, we achieved an average of an additional 13.8 bu/acre.
• Without seed firmers, the two-year average yield was 280.9 bu/acre, and with improperly-set row cleaners, the two-year average yield was 279.9 bu/acre.
• Without seed firmers and improperly-set row cleaners, the two-year average yield was 273.8 bu/acre.
What Does This Mean For Your Farm?
• Accurate seed placement, good seed-to-soil contact, and a clean seedbed are important factors in enabling corn seedlings to establish quickly and begin growing vigorously.
• Seed firmers can help improve seed-to-soil contact, leading to better establishment, more even emergence, and potentially higher yields.
• Properly set row cleaners can also provide an environment that promotes even emergence which can have a positive impact on crop yield potential.