Could a Picture Be Worth 7 bushels an acre..or more?

I ran into a problem today while calibrating corn meters (Precision Planting Esets) for a customer. The meters I was working on had been run for several years so it was time for a “repower”. After cleaning the meters and replacing parts, I ran each one on my meter stand, to simulate planting, to make sure everything was working properly.

I set up my Precison Planting 20/20 monitor to simulate a population of 32,000 plants/a, 5 mph and a vac of 18. I was using a medium flat variety and just assumed 5mph would be a good speed. I was wrong. If you are not sure if planter speed plays a role in singulation and spacing, take a look below.

The top row of numbers represents a planting speed of 4 mph. Each row after represents an increase in speed of .5 mph. Notice the change in numbers in the  second and third column, representing singulation and skips, as speed increases.

In this case, 4 mph gave me the most consistent readings for this variety even though 5 mph is the “best” in the picture above.

Data suggests that one skip in a 1/1oooth of an acre is a 7 bu/a loss. Thats big money on any amount of acres.  Speed is only one component that may cause skips. Make sure you know where the sweet spot is, for each of your varieties, before you hit the field this year. You can’t afford not to know.

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