Part 3: Opening Discs, Gauge Wheels, Critical Wear Areas
Double disc openers on the planting unit should touch. Here, wear needs to be addressed by adjusting the disc openers or replacing the discs. For proper double disc opener adjustment, you want to make sure that there's contact at the front lower edge of the double disc opener as demonstrated here by the business cards. The two business cards won't move any further this way or this way till the metal's together and that's the proper adjustment when you have about a 2 to 3 inch space between the business cards, single business cards where they won't go any closer together because the contacts too tight. If you have that kind of adjustment on your double disc opener you're going to get the proper "V" in the bottom of your seed furrow for the corn to be placed into so that you get good germination.
Ok we have here the, two of the different type John Deere type or Kinze type depth gauge wheels, the narrow and the wide. And probably the biggest benefit I see to the narrow is that you would not need to clear the row cleaners as wide an area for the wheel to run on. Therefore you expose less soil in the field versus a wide row depth gauge wheel, in which you're going to need to clear a wider area so you don't get residue pushing this wheel up and down and varying your depth. You're going to end up with a wider bare area in the field versus the narrow depth gauge wheel. Then you can match that up with a narrow row cleaner versus the standard row cleaner to clear a wide enough track for the standard depth gauge wheel. And I think this wheel has a lot of utility in no till in particular.
This allows for more of the soil surface to remain mulched thus conserving more summer rainfall due to better water infiltration and less evaporation. More plant available water produces a higher yielding crop. This would have more application in the longer growing season areas.
In the shorter growing season areas regular width row cleaners will generally help speed the soil warming process and shorten the time necessary for crop emergence.
Depth gauge wheel should be checked for side-to-side sloppiness. They should not have tilt in or out at the bottom or top. Replace parts or upgrade the attachment mechanism to eliminate the problem. Reduced inner diameter depth gauge wheels are used by some operators in an effort to reduce seed furrow sidewall compaction. They can help alleviate this potential problem.
Generally seed burrow sidewall compaction occurs from too much down pressure on the planting unit. Full diameter depth gauge wheels such as those on John Deere and Kinze corn planters will maintain a more uniform and consistent seed furrow shape. If planting unit down pressure is correctly adjusted seed furrow sidewall compaction should not be a problem when using them.