5 Tips for Planting in Wet Soil
With the soggy weather most of us are fighting, here are 5 tips for planting in wet soil. We encourage you to take the time and make sure things are set right in order to get the best stands possible.
1. Set row cleaners as light as possible. As the ground is worked, the top will dry off but there is sure to be mud underneath. Keeping row cleaners as high as possible will avoid moving this dry dirt around and keep the gauge wheels on top of it creating a much better seed bed. CleanSweep® by Precision Planting® is a great tool to assist with this as it can lift and lower row cleaners from the cab.
2. Keep planters as light as possible. It is better to fill more often than pack things full and be heavy. By keeping the planter light it will help it float. Ensure down pressure is set as light as it can be with the planter still operating correctly. Get off and dig to make sure there is not side wall smear from being too heavy or operating with too much down force. DeltaForce® provides growers with a great option to be able to actually lift the planter units and help them dance across the mud. Inspect planter tractors and lose any extra weight that is not necessary. Many of these can drop 1000-3000 pounds and not affect their performance pulling planters. This will help with compaction and keep the tractors on top of the ground a little better.
3. Keep an eye on ground contact after lightening up the planters. Growers planting with SpeedTube® may need to pull back on the throttle a bit in order to keep good ground contact. To be able to run high speed, more down force is needed and it’s better to plant right than fast at this point in the game.
4. Insure the closing system is set correctly. Many of the current closing systems aren’t set up or designed to run in the mud. One simple adjustment can help with that. If running smooth closing wheels such as cast or rubber, we suggest you offset them. Most units have the ability to position the wheels in different holes instead of being directly across from each other. This will help to crumble the side wall and better close the trench. Seed to soil contact is key and a quick review of the closing system can help this a lot.
5. Last tip is to remember, we are all in the same boat (literally). Take time to be safe. It is way more important to come home at night than to hurry up and make stupid mistakes that might cause that to not happen.
- Chris Brubaker, Helena Precision Planting Supervisor
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