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Impact of Planter Closing Wheels on Corn Emergence in No-Till Systems  Open Access

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 36(5): 727-732. (doi: 10.13031/aea.13957) @2020
Authors:   Jessica L Drewry, Brian D. Luck, Francisco J. Arriaga
Keywords:   Closing wheel, Cover crop, Emergence, No-till, Planter set-up.


Aftermarket closing wheels increased corn emergence by 2% over standard rubber wheels.

Yield was not significant by closing wheel type.

Abstract. Producers are increasingly adopting cover crops and no-till planting for a variety of reasons including improving soil fertility and reducing energy inputs. However, adopting these practices may require changes in equipment and management strategy; therefore, research is needed to develop best practices for producers to reduce the risk and encourage adoption. The use of aftermarket closing wheels has been cited as a method to improve emergence under no-till conditions as preparing an ideal seedbed can be more difficult under these conditions due to limited seed-soil contact and side wall compaction. The effect of three aftermarket and the standard rubber closing wheels on emergence and yield under no-till planting of corn into heavy crop residue or cover crops was measured at three Wisconsin locations using a randomized complete block experimental design. Soil temperature and moisture was also monitored during the growing season. Corn plant emergence was measured at least three times to estimate the rate of emergence as a function of growing degree units using air and soil temperatures. The final emergence of corn planted with an aftermarket wheel was found to be significantly higher than the standard rubber closing wheel (p=0.069, α=0.1) across all locations. Yield was not found to be significant by wheel type most likely due to differences in field history and in season management practices.

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