The seed drill does its most precise job if running through uniform residue and soil. While there’s little you can do about soil variability, residue management is well within your power. As Peter Johnson says in this video, start your winter wheat planting pass from the combine by spreading residue uniformly. (Click here to see a piece on maximizing straw chopper performance with Phil Needham.)
The hiccup with variable residue is that if you set the drill to account for trash, planting accuracy will be compromised in bare soil and vice versa. Johnson, cereal specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, says that achieving that ideal placement of one-inch depth could be far easier to achieve if the combine is first tuned-in to doing a better job on trash management.
Also in this episode of the Wheat School, Johnson explains why, as we move into mid to late October you may want to push seed in just a hair deeper (but not too deep) in addition to bumping seeding rates, and find out what he feels many guys are “slipping the clutch on” when it comes to seed drill prep and settings.
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