Seed Placement = Yield Potential!

Importance of Seed Placement

I want to re-emphasize the importance of seed placement and its impact on corn yields. I can’t tell you how much difference a half an inch can do for your yield potential. In particular, I was in several fields in 2007 where another half an inch deeper seed placement would have put another 40 to 50 bushels per acre into the bin. Regardless of market prices, this leads to a significant loss of income that could had been avoided. By simply understanding the impact seed placement plays in season-long crop performance for all hybrids, we have a chance to increase yields at a no-added cost! All you have to do is adjust your depth and use Earthosils® of course!

Adjusting Seed Depth

For adjusting your seed depth, I have provided pictures that should be very familiar to you. In a field study, a corn planter was set at various planting depths and yields were compared between these depths. Personally, I would like to see everyone try to achieve a planting depth of 2.25 inches and a yield result of 224.5 bu/acre!

Financial Impacts

How important is planting depth in your farming operation based on this research? Here, I’ll do the math for you. The difference between 224.5 bu/acre and the 165.36 bu/acre is 59.14 more bushels of corn per acre because the planter was adjusted to the proper planting depth for maximum genetic potential of your chosen hybrids. In today’s market at $3.25/bu, this calculates to $192.20 more net dollars generated per acre no added cost! I do not know where in agriculture you can generate more net profit for your time invested then at planting time. At this point, it’s all a matter of multiplication. Whether you have a 100 or 1000 acres of corn, this would be equivalent to an additional net income of $19920.00 or $192,200.00, respectively!
Just for fun, divide this extra-generated income by the amount of time it would take you to set your planter to the proper depth to get your new hourly wage. Not too bad for a days work! I sincerely hope you begin to understand why I continue to stress this one simple procedure. Every effort makes a difference and your attention to detail will be rewarded through bountiful crops!

Seed Firmers

Are they worth the investment? Read this and decide for yourself. A simple, on-farm yield trial was conducted comparing the effects of seed firmers on corn yield. The field was planted the same day with the same planter using the same fertility program and variety of seed corn. It was a White, sixteenrow planter with two transmissions, each running eight independent rows. Rows 1 to 4 had seed firmers, rows 5 to 12 had no firmer attachments, and rows 13 to 16 had firmer attachments.

The yield data was gained by hand-picking corn from rows four and five, which were then weighed on a scale at a local elevator. By using a seed firmer, yield was increased 14.28 bushels per acre between corn rows that were 30 inches apart! It is evident through this field trial that the firmer is an excellent tool. The field trial, in my observation, says seed planting depth can make a world of difference when it comes to yield.  The firmer places the seed into the seed furrow with what appears to be consistent and accurate planting depth! I believe how we plant is just as important as what we plant. In other words, planting depth is the most important and inexpensive tool you have in generating yield potential! Now, put this information in the tool box of your planter for 2010 and enjoy the financial rewards!