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 seed bed. 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.
— 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.