Planting season really begins now


TREMONT – The 2021 planting season really begins now at harvest as farmers think about how this year’s residue distribution or tillage impacts emergence next spring.

This is a good time to plan for a smooth ride of your planter, says Eric Huber with Precision Planting.

“Probably the most practical thing I think about this time of the year is as growers are out watching row by row of corn go by the window, my biggest encouragement is this: if you get a couple of minutes, get out and walk to the side that’s been harvested to do a quick stand evaluation,” Huber said.

The stand evaluation entails marking the first plant with your foot, counting 100 plants out and recording any errors you see on paper. Growers should look for any skips, doubles or emergence issues. It is good to go back and reference planting maps which will tell you how the planter meters were performing.

“I know it’s one of two things: it was either driven by a non-germ on the seed or it was going to be driven by the planter meter.”

If you are unsure if you had a uniform, picket fence stand, contact your Precision Planting dealer for further assistance.

The company also has the YieldSense harvest monitor for the combine cab which looks for more than just the total pounds harvested in an acre. Huber notes poor yield monitor calibration can be a problem this time of year.

“If you have a yield monitor where the manufacturer states you need to do flow runs, those are very critical,” Huber explained.

With calibration, a paddle is trained to feel what a lower flow rate is compared to a higher flow rate. Growers are concerned about where the garden spot areas are in the field and where the lower yielding areas are located.

Defining those spatial zones gives farmers the ability to start making potential return-on-investment decisions. Recent yield monitors released in the past couple of years are a bit easier to calibrate, according to Huber. One semi load of grain should get a producer calibrated for the season with YieldSense.

There are a few things to remember for those running YieldSense in the combine. Before switching from planting to harvest mode, go into the diagnose page and look at your display to see how much hard drive space has been used. Huber suggests going in each season and deleting the field map data out. Prior to this, make sure hybrid maps are all built in the FieldView app.

When it doubt, data should be exported to a USB stick and saved to a computer before verifying it is uploaded into the cloud. Then, data should be deleted out prior to changing over to the YieldSense mode.

If you have any questions about the calibration process, contact your Precision Planting dealer.

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