April 16, 2010
Tips to Reduce Sidewall Compaction
- If possible, wait for drier soil conditions before planting.
- Reduce downpressure in wet conditions to avoid compaction.
- Plant corn at least 2 inches deep and fracture the sidewall while closing the seed-vee.
- Evaluate seed-to-soil contact at seeding depth. Resist the temptation to increase downpressure to close the seed-vee.
- Leave residue over the row to reduce the seed zone from drying out and the soil from shrinking.
- Build soil structure using no-till, manure or cover crops. Soil with good aggregation is less likely to smear or compact.
- Level the planter front-to-rear, or even operate it slightly tail down, to improve seed-to-soil contact and closing the seed-vee.
- Use an attachment to till and loosen some soil for closing the seed-vee.
- Till in the sidewall with spoked closing wheels (need seed firmers for seed-to-soil contact).
- Use one spoked closing wheel and one standard wheel to close the seed-vee and firm the soil.
- If possible, stagger the angled closing wheels, one in front of the other, to reduce the seed-vee from opening back up as the soil dries. (If using one spoked wheel, place it in front.)