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PFR Report: Prescription Tillage Sabre Tooth Planter (STP) Disc Openers Q&A

Published on Wednesday, March 4, 2020

How is the Prescription Tillage Technology STP seed disc opener designed? 

According to their website, Prescription Tillage Technology’s STP blade utilizes Bellota metal technology. Their proprietary tooth design flows dirt against the inside of the bevel and into the tooth fillet. Assuring blade bevel maintenance vs. blade stubbing or blade dulling seen with common OEM Blades. One blade is also 0.25 in. bigger in diameter than the other blade. This allows them to spin at different speeds and create a different seed trench than the standard blades. 

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What makes the STP seed disc opener different from a standard disc opener?

It utilizes a forged alloy heat treated hub and a much heavier and thicker (25.2 mm vs 15.3 mm) bearing. This bearing is fully replaceable, unlike most standard disc openers. When the disc wears out, then only the disc has to be replaced. Same goes for the bearing when it wears out. The blade itself is also 4mm thick compared to the 3mm thickness of the standard disc opener. This works well with their heavier bearing. 

What planters are compatible with this piece of equipment?

Prescription Tillage Technology produces their openers for all the major corn planter manufacturers.  

Can the STP disc opener be used in conventional and no-till fields? 

Yes, they can. So far, we have only tested them in no-till plots. I still think the benefits will carry over into a conventional environment as well. We hope to continue testing in no-till and conventional-till fields in the future. 

What yield improvement did you see in corn and soybean systems?

In our no-till studies across six replications, the STP openers provided a 2.1 Bu./A. increase in corn and a 2.5 Bu./A. increase in soybeans when compared to the standard disc openers. 

2019 Central Illinois Corn Disc Opener Study Results

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2019 Central Illinois Soybean Disc Opener Study Results

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What has been the greatest field improvement you have seen with the STP seed disc opener?

I was very impressed with the performance of the STP opener. It appeared to remove the smearing and compaction of the sidewall and opened the seed trench at the bottom, allowing the seed to make it to the floor of the trench. This alleviates any air pockets underneath the seed, allow for better and more consistent emergence. Another improvement we observed is that, as the disc rotates, it partially closes the seed trench before the closing wheels. I have never seen this with standard openers in a no-till situation.

View our 2019 in-season findings now.

How does using the STP seed disc opener affect the seed trench?

When using a standard disc opener in less than ideal conditions, sidewall compaction and smearing can occur. The STP openers work well to prevent both of those situations from happening. A poorly adjusted opener will also cause a ‘W’ pattern to form at the bottom of the trench, which will cause air pockets.

Did the disc opener improve stands? If so, how?

Yes, it provided more even and consistent emergence and better root and vegetative growth. In six replications, the STP openers provided 1,000 plant/A. increase in corn overall.  

corn-stand-sabre-tooth-planter-disc-opener

Are the STP openers timed with each other?

No, one blade is .25 in. bigger in diameter than the other blade. This allows them to spin at different speeds and makes it easier for installation. 

Is installing the STP openers similar to the standard openers? 

Yes. For Kinze, John Deere, Harvest International, Horsch, and White-Precision planters, they require 0.75 in. to 2 in. of blade to blade contact. 

Does Prescription Tillage Technology offer other styles of disc openers? 

Yes, Prescription Tillage Technology offers several styles of disc openers. They have a range of aggressive to standard style openers that offer their heavier bearing. 

How can I purchase their openers? 

They can be purchased directly through one of their dealers or on their website at prescriptiontillagetechnology.com. Some Case IH stores also their openers and Schaffert Manufacturing is one of their dealers.  
 

 


 

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Author: Clayton Stufflebeam

Categories: PFR, PFR Reports

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