Eliminate Sidewall Compaction and Increase Seed to Soil Contact
If you use no-till or other alternative till planting methods, you know how difficult it is to properly close seed furrows.
Sidewall compaction left from double disc openers on planters makes it hard for standard closing wheels to close the seed V properly in all soil types and conditions.
Especially in wet heavy textured soils, standard press wheels tend to smear the soil over the seeds and do not break up the sidewall compaction left by the double disc openers. Then when a hot windy day comes after planting in wet soil conditions, the seed V will often crack back open, exposing the seeds.
If the seed V does stay shut after planting with standard closing wheels, many times the sidewalls of the seed V stay compacted, not letting the roots of the plants penetrate the sidewalls. If they cannot penetrate the sidewall, the roots will not build a good brace root system, and the plants will tend to fall over later in the season.
Schaffert Mfg.’s closing wheels address these problems, and more. We offer a variety of closing wheels that work in all soil types.
Here is a good example of a corn field that was planted with a planter that had rubber closing wheels and the ground was hard no-till planting into last year’s corn stalks and the previous year’s wheat stubble.
The planter opened up the seed V and seeds were placed in the furrow and then the closing wheels closed the seed V. It was wet when planted and then after planting a few days went by with hot windy days. The seed V cracked back open, leaving the seed exposed in the furrow.
The corn plants had already germinated and started to grow, but not having soil over the seed, the nodular roots failed to emerge below the soil surface. What happens after that is with no nodular roots, the corn plant will still grow but it won’t form any brace roots. Then, when the corn gets shoulder high or at tassel time with some wind, the plants will fall over due to not having any soil over the top of the seed at planting.
When corn is planted into wet soils and the seed V is closed with rubber tire closing wheels by pressing the soil together in the middle but leaving a seam, then when the soil dries out it will shrink and the seed V will open up, causing the root systems to not form above where the seed was placed in the furrow. This results in spindly plants and small ear placement and downed corn in the field.
May times farmers think these downed stalks in a field like this are from root worm damage, because root worm will eat off the roots of corn underground. But in this case, it was caused from not closing the seed V properly and the roots didn’t form at all to hold up the plants. You can see in this photo where the seed V is cracked back open on each side of the growing corn plant that has fallen down.
This is why you won’t see downed corn in a field where the Zipper or Mohawk ran to close the seed V. The Zipper and Mohawk closing wheels will break up the side wall of the seed V, stitching it shut so it doesn’t crack back open after it was planted. Thus, good root systems will form and the corn will product a big robust stalk and a good root system with big ears of corn, and they won’t blow over like they have in this photo.
OUR CLOSING WHEELS
Mohawk Wheels compact the soil better than straight-fingered wheels. It feathers the soil in the furrow with its wide track design, and is made to work in tough soils.
Mohawk spikes are made of heavy duty cast steel for longer wear, and they penetrate 1″ deep to not disturb the seed.
The Mohawk Wheel is easy to install, using existing wheels and bearings and replacing the original tire with a Mohawk ring, saving you !
The Chicken Tracker takes the place of the original press wheel on drills and Case IH planters.
Unlike this original solid press wheel which can smear soil, the Chicken Tracker mulches and mellows soil over the seed bed.
Pressure is applied at three points over the tread on the chicken tracks at all time, firming soil around the seed. This provides good seed to soil contact, leading to more even emergence and higher yields.
The Furrow V Closer closes the seed trench ahead of the press wheels in heavy, wet soils.
The FVC does not run in the seed trench, but rather to the side of the seed V opening, making it easier to place starter fertilizer and/or chemicals in the furrow with the seed. Its poly discs are resistant to herbicide, pesticide, fertilizer, and mud build-up.
I have used the Mohawk closing wheels, and more recently added some Zipper wheels, for several seasons now in both no-till and tilled ground, and have planted corn, soybeans, and milo with good results. I like how the wheels still maintain the same depth of penetration even if I’m a little too heavy on the down pressure. No flipping chunks of soil and seed out. In watching the planter run this spring, it seems like the Zipper wheel might have a little faster “sewing” action than the Mohawk, meaning when the soil was a little heavy or no tilling into fall killed sod, the Zipper rows seemed to have a little more fluff to them. In normal no tilling situations, both wheels performed great. An advantage for the Mohawk is if your planter closing wheels are in good shape, you swap the rubber tire for the Mohawk and you’re ready to go at an attractive cost. I don’t see how anybody can go wrong with either wheel.
Last year we ran our Kinze 3600 16/32 planter with Mohawk closing wheels over nearly 2000 acres of no-till soybeans. We saw a real improvement over cast iron wheels in performance – closing the seed trench, preventing the slot from opening when the soil dried out, and in seed emergence. We used my Kinze 3800 corn planter for some trials on tilled and no-till fields; rubber tires, Mohawks, Zippers, Thompson wheels, and Martin spike closers. While the Martin spikes have always performed fairly well in no-till, and still performed the best in planting no-till corn into a dry June hayfield, the Mohawks and Zippers performed best overall. They handled tilled soil, they handled no-till, they firmed the seed while leaving loose soil above it, and they didn’t tip out seed in the most challenging conditions. The Zippers also did fairly well in the hard dry hay field in June. The Mohawks and Zippers still look almost new, they should last many years more than the plastic spikes some companies sell. We will be all Mohawks and Zippers this year.