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Agronomy Update

Corn and Soybean Plantability Tips

Published on Monday, April 27, 2015

The pathway to high profit yields starts with accurate singulation and placement of every seed. As you go through planting season, here are some key suggestions to achieving those effective plant stands. I will focus only on the “seed” aspect.

1. Pre-condition your seed : All seed packaging systems need to be conditioned to the current temperature and humidity. This can be accomplished by opening the doors of sheds and storage buildings where seed is stored and letting an “equilibrium” develop. Small bags should have the shrink wrap removed for improved air flow among the bags. Seed boxes should have enough room between them that a person can walk around them. If cross-ventilation is a problem, farmers in the past have set up large fans to increase air flow. All these efforts will reduce condensation possibilities inside the boxes.

2. Lubricate your planter: This procedure is extremely important before planting any seed. All interior planter parts need to be coated with appropriate lubricant prior to planting our seed products.

3. Planter box/hopper lubricant suggestions: This second step is also suggested. Heavily treat (2 to 3 applications) a small amount of seed (5 to 10 units) and plant it. Then you can resume your normal loading pattern. Keep in mind with our Escalate seed treatment, doubling equipment manufacturer’s lubricant recommendations will be needed. Well dispersed and well mixed seed lubricant is very important! Remember, talc is a drying agent, whereas graphite is a lubricant. Graphite will disperse while talc needs to be well mixed!

Small Corn Seed Plantability Tips

Smaller sized seed corn will be the norm for 2015. As you know, this is a result of an excellent growing season which had very few stressors during the pollination and grain fill periods. Overall, smaller size seed corn poses fewer planting challenges than heavier, larger sized seed. 

Here are a few pointers for planting small size corn seed:

John Deere CCS Planters with ProMax 40 Flat Disk: Tank pressure for >2000 seeds per pound – 10 in. water Tank pressure for 1200 to 2000 seeds per pound – 12 in. water Standard meter vacuum is 14.5 to 17. Smaller sized seed will need slightly less vacuum than normal

Kinze ASD Vacuum Planters: Tank pressure of 20 in. water is recommended for all seed sizes. Brush settings vary by seed size, with higher brush number settings recommended for smaller sized seed (7).

CaseNewHolland (CNH): Tank pressure for 1700 to 2400 seeds per pound – 18 to 20 in. water, with singulator setting of 3 and baffle setting of 2. Tank pressure for 1200 to 1700 seeds per pound – 20 to 22 in. water, with singulator setting of 3 and baffle setting of 2

AGCO/White Planters with CFS System: Smallest size seed may require use of disk 852436 (considered the standard disk) or 852437. Smaller Medium Flats will require 2 to 4 in. of pressure. Bigger sized seed requires an increase in pressure settings to 4 in.

Always refer to owner’s manual for suggestions to fine tune your planter settings. Overall, the flowability and plantability of this year’s smaller seed should pose very few if any risks.

Mechanical, finger pickup units will need to be dialed in for appropriate seed size and operated at slightly reduced speeds to insure accuracy goals are met. Brush replacement/setting on these mechanical units will also needed adjusted properly to minimize doubles and skips.


Large Soybean Plantability Tips

This past winter, three major planter manufacturers evaluated our 2015 soybean seed for plantability. This was done knowing that a considerable amount of 2015 Beck’s soybean seed would be larger than normal and that the shape may be affected. Seed sizes evaluated were at 1950, 2250, and 2350 seeds per pound. These bigger soybeans occurred due to the favorable late season growing conditions of 2014. I’m sure many of you saw the same in your combine tanks!

Here are some suggestions for initial planter settings to help you achieve excellent drop and accuracy.

John Deere CCS Planters: Using the standard three-row hole soybean disc, A42586 is suggested. Set CCS tank pressures at 11 to 14 in. Meter vacuum will probably need to be at 12 in. for larger soybeans. ProMeters will likely require 1.5 to 2 times the amount of talc for larger soybeans.

CNH 1200 Series Planters: Accuracy of drop was very acceptable in all seed sizes and weights. However, 30 in. row planting at high populations is speed sensitive, meaning max ground speed of 5 mph. Use the 10045 seed disc with vacuum at 17 in. of water, the singulator at 8, and baffle at 2 for your start settings.

Kinze EdgeVac: Using the 60 cell seed disc, GD14467 is suggested. A singulator brush setting at 5 and vacuum setting of 10 are recommended. Your vacuum levels may need to be adjusted up slightly depending on seed size.

Kinze Brush Type Meter: There are two discs available, the black 60 cell disc (GA5794) for “normal” sized beans and the dark blue 48 cell disc (GA6184) for seeds in the 1400 to 2200 seeds/lb. range. If the seed size falls on or near the split, typically you will need the larger 48 cell disc.

You should always add the appropriate seed lubricant as specified by the manufacturer. Just as important, make sure lubricant is well mixed! Graphite disperses well, but talc needs extra mixing efforts. Graphite is a lubricant whereas talc is a drying agent. In some planter situations, mixtures of talc and graphite may have to be used depending on the relative humidity conditions at time of planting.


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Denny Cobb

Denny Cobb

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