Mojo Wire for ‘Dry’ Universal Keeton
Streamlined, low-cost Mojo Wire $11.00 — Exapta has discovered an elegant simplification and streamlining to a mainstay product, its Mojo Wire kit for ‘Dry’ (not liquid-ready) Keeton seed firmer tails for Universal & scraper-mount setups. The kit eliminates the plastic blocks, so that the Wire clamps directly onto the firmer. The upshot is faster assembly for the customer, and major savings—a price reduction of 45%.
Mojo Wire for Planters
Five Times More Pressure
Our Mojo Wire supplies up to 5X the pressure of a new Keeton (or Flo-rite). Seed-to-soil is too crucial to leave to chance. Our Mojo wires stiffen up these firmers to truly embed the seed in the bottom of the furrow. Do it right and sleep easier!
Low-cost Mojo for ‘Dry’ Keetons
Our Mojos for Keeton tails without liquid capability (‘Dry’) are now much more streamlined to avoid snagging straw and mulch. Plus, a big savings from the simplified design—the wire clamps directly onto the firmer tail, without using the plastic Mojo blocks that are needed for the liquid-ready tails.
Why the Mojo Wire?
In North America, most seeders were never really engineered to plant no-till. For instance, the original press wheels on all planters (and so-called “no-till” drills) were designed for the loose, dry conditions found in tilled seedbeds—they were intended to pack the soil from the surface all the way down to the seed, which was easily done in loose tilled soil. Substantial packing was desirable to help the seed draw moisture from beneath, since the soil near the surface had dried with tillage.
In no-till (zero-till), this concept is terribly flawed. No-till soils are resilient (structured) and don’t readily fall back into the furrow. Plus, an enormous amount of pressure must be applied at the surface to do any seed firming at all down in the bottom of the furrow. In no-till, to get even 5 lbs of pressure at seed depth might require 50 to 150 lbs. applied to the press wheel at the surface, and even then it might not be enough and certainly won’t be consistent at seed depth. And you are severely packing the sidewalls and soil over the seed (thru which it must push) in attempting to do something down at the bottom of the furrow. Why not just apply a precise amount of pressure exactly where it’s needed—at the bottom of the furrow?
In the early ’90s, this is exactly what the introduction of the Keeton seed firmer was supposed to do. However, the Keetons applied only a few ounces to (at most) ~ 1.5 lbs of pressure on the business end of the Keeton. In many cases, that wasn’t enough force. (For comparison, the in-furrow press wheels of the JD 50, 60, & 90-series single-disc drills, as well as CNH’s SDX drill, supply up to 20 lbs or more of pressure on a similar surface area down at the bottom of the ‘v.’) The situation is made worse by the fact that the nylon material used to mold the Keetons loses its integrity (springiness) after awhile (apparently due to absorbing moisture, ‘cold flowing,’ and UV degradation).
To remedy the situation, Exapta introduced the Mojo Wire stiffener in 2006, which supplies up to 5 times the pressure to the standard Keeton. In our testing and our customers’ experience, we’ve simply been amazed at how much better the germination consistency was—both in terms of higher percentages of seeds emerging, and in uniformity of timing of emergence.
Another noticeable improvement was in the self-cleaning action of the Keeton against the furrow sidewalls. We’d previously noticed that Keetons became more prone to mud buildup on the sides of the tail when they had little down-force, either due to age and fatigue, or due to loose settings on the tensioning screw. Adding the Mojo Wire has improved this self-cleaning action, at least in low-disturbance no-till. (Note that coulters or CIH reduced-inner-diameter gauge tires increase the soil disturbance ahead of the Keeton, which worsens the mud accumulation on the firmer and hinders the self-cleaning action of the firmer against the furrow sidewalls.)
Mojo Wires fit most planter Keetons. Not recommended for LP (low-profile) tails. Another brand of sliding seed firmer, the Flo-Rite, was introduced in 2014. The 2014 Flo-Rites had about double the pressure of a Keeton, but still benefitted from a Mojo Wire in tough no-till conditions. The Flo-Rites were changed for 2015 to have no more pressure than a Keeton.
Note: One drawback to increasing the pressure on the Keeton is that the tail wears more quickly. If you put lots of acres on your planter in a season, expect to completely wear out a set of Keetons with the Mojo Wire installed. But at least the Keeton is doing its job. If you’ve always struggled to get high emergence percentages with your planter in no-till, inadequate seed firming might be the culprit. Seeds should be ‘locked into’ the bottom of the furrow—securely embedded in it. You might be pleasantly surprised at how well your crops emerge with the Mojo Wire—you owe it to yourself to try them.