Keeton Seed Firmers provide consistent depth control. Consistent depth control is the most important job of your planter. Even the best maintained planter can still have depth variation of ½” or more.
Keeton Seed Firmers help depth control by gently setting seeds to the bottom of the seed trench. A thin piece of poly slides down the seed trench, trapping seeds as they exit the seed tube and firming them into the bottom of the “V”.
By achieving a more accurate depth and even emergence. Better seed to soil contact is one reason why tests show that Keeton Seed Firmers can increase your plant and ear counts by 1,500 to 2,000 per acre. When seeds start out at the same depth, they are more likely to emerge at the same time. Tests show that uniform emergence can boost yield by 5%. Farm Journal Magazine did a study that showed a 6 bushel per acre increase from using firmers. So, it is a combination of emergence and improved ear counts that makes the difference.
Keeton Seed Firmers ensures uniform seed to soil contact which leads to uniform germination and uniform emergence. Three years of Farm Journal research shows that uniform germination can lead to an average six bushel increase in corn yield.
Purdue University research shows that there is a loss of five bushels of corn per acre for every collar difference in emergence of corn seedlings. That’s why it is critically important that all seeds emerge within a 48-hour window. When you see the first corn spike through the ground, all the rest must spike within two days. Every day delay in emergence means you’re losing yield potential.
The Keeton Seed Firmer is designed to exert a light amount of pressure – about 12 – 20 ounces. It is designed with the correct amount of pressure to gently firm the seed into the bottom of the trench. With bracket mounted firmers, a tension screw allows you to increase or decrease the amount of pressure the tail applies.
It is important to check seed depth behind the closing wheels. The seed may appear deeper than you are used to seeing, because the seed is now accurately and consistently placed in the very bottom of the V. Some growers have adjusted their planters by 1/2 to one notch shallower, but this should only be done after verifying your planting depth
Generally, you should expect up to 300 acres per row for most firmer models before you see enough wear to decrease effectiveness. Low profile tails have a shorter life expectancy than standard or dual tube style tails.
With the seed gently firmed into the bottom of the V, you can decrease your closing wheel pressure for the correct amount to control crusting. It is still important to check that your closing wheels are still properly aligned.