Source: Pioneer news release
Routine planter maintenance is an important part of spring success and should be performed well before planting. It’s equally important to be mindful of planter performance as you go from row-to-row and field-to-field.
“As you move from field-to-field, keep track of planter depth,” said Ron Joiner, Pioneer Field Agronomist. “Field conditions change, so the set it and forget it method might not work.”
Planting depth is important to seed germination and can affect plant growth, too. Planting seeds too deep or too shallow can result in a failure to germinate. Utilizing a simple measuring tool can ensure proper seed depth on each pass.
“Besides planting depth, I like to look at the rows and see what kind of spacing we’re getting,” Joiner said.
Worn planter parts can cause non-uniform seed spacing, skips or even double seeds. As with planting depth, spacing is important for germination and to ensure seeds aren’t competing for nutrients.
Finally, be mindful of soil temperature. Germination and root development will not occur below 50°F and will be extremely slow even in the low 50’s. Prolonged exposure to low temperatures reduces seed and plant metabolism and vigor and increases sensitivity to herbicides and seedling blights.
“If you look at the weather forecast and it’s calling for showers or cooler weather, you might want to delay planting for a day or two,” Joiner said. “You want to make sure you’re giving the seed every chance it can to emerge and thrive.”
To read Pioneer’s Top Ten Preseason Planting Tips click here.