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Remember the planter basics

A grower visits the Precision Planting booth during the Greater Peoria Farm Show in November / CIFN photo.

PEORIA – Even with all of the bells and whistles that come with planters these days, growers still don’t want to forget the basics.

Eric Huber, east central Illinois region manager for Precision Planting, recommends making sure the drive system is smooth to allow for consistent spacing.

“Emergence is the foundation that we have to build with,” Huber said during the Greater Peoria Farm Show. “How do we keep moisture and temperature consistent from seed to seed and how do we make that planter pass as perfect as we can?”

Precision Planting continues to address agronomic challenges seen in fields by growers all over. Different options can lead to a better return on investment and make something which seems complex pretty simple. The company offers a nitrogen placement tool known as Conceal which entails a more calculated effort to “spoon feed” crops.

“We are very excited to see where that one is coming from. There are some great results coming out of our Pontiac farm where we are seeing anywhere from a $2 increase in ROI all the way up to $60,” Huber adds.

Another tool in the Precision Planting toolbox includes SmartFirmer which examines residue management in the seed trench. For instance, 95 percent clean furrow would indicate five feet out of the last 100 had residue in with the seed. Research farm experiments are allowing the company to see exactly what the impact is.

“What we saw from this last season is every one percent cleaner we can make the furrow, we’ll bump yield by about one percent.”

SmartFirmer also measures moisture in the furrow. If a grower is planting into dry soil, this technology would indicate that telling him or her to make a planter depth adjustment.

Precision Planting has some new tricks up its sleeve and farmers are invited to attend the company’s Winter Conference Jan. 15-18 at Tremont along with seven other simulcast locations. New technology is shared during the event and attendees are treated to a steak dinner. For more information or to register, go to

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