by Matt Hagny, consulting agronomist for no-till systems since ‘94.

Many of you are fighting to get your corn crop planted in the mud across the central & eastern corn-growing areas of the US/Canada. Just a reminder that in damp conditions, it’s especially important to make sure you break the sidewall adequately with spoked closing wheels—make sure you’ve got enough spring pressure on them to break up the sidewall as much as possible, but without disturbing the seed placement. (If in doubt about spokes pulling seeds loose, tie-up the closing bracket on a row and compare—sometimes seeds are misplaced before the closing wheel gets there. If some seeds are loose or misplaced, check to see that you’re not allowing the sidewall to lift too much, and that your seed tube & guard are up to snuff. Also, the better the seed is embedded in the bottom of the furrow—with a Keeton + Mojo Wire, or a seed-lock wheel—the less likely it is to roll loose as the sidewall is broken by the closing wheels.)

I’ve been guilty of over-emphasizing being gentle on the furrow closing, and have been complacent at times in not getting after clients to do more sidewall breakage. That was a big mistake last year…continue reading here: Liberate-the-roots