Corn School: How to zero the planter for even emergence

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Have you zeroed your row units? It’s one way to help ensure the corn planter is planting at the same depth across the entire implement and the field.

On this episode of RealAgriculture’s Corn School, Kearney Planters sales and customer care specialist Jay Curtis shows why zeroing row units is important and how to do it before planting.

Curtis notes that the T handle, used on most planter models, typically sets the gauge wheel ride height and controls the planting depth on the row unit. When all units are positioned at the same setting position, they should plant at an even depth across the planter. But that’s not always the case.

In the video, Curtis illustrates how growers can move the unit settings to zero, slide boards under the gauge wheels to simulate planting depth (e.g. 1.5 inches), and then lower the blade until it touches the cement floor. The T handle is then adjusted to a snug position. If each unit settles at the same setting, planting depth should be consistent across the implement.

See related: Fine-tuning the planter for Plant ’22

However, sometimes there can be depth variances, even when the units are at the same setting. This can occur when used parts are intermingled with new repair parts, blades are not all replaced at once or there are physically damaged parts that escape visual inspection.

Curtis says it’s always better to zero the planter sooner than later in case new parts are required to ensure the planter delivers the even planting depth and crop emergence growers are seeking.

Click here for more Corn School videos.

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Corn School (view all)Season 11 (2022) Episode 28
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