On a mid-March day in northern Ohio when conditions were far from perfect, we took the planter to the field. 12 rows with smooth closing wheels, 2 rows with Schaffert Zippers, and 2 rows with a competitor’s wheel.
The smooth closing wheels closed about 40% of the seed furrow. The competitor’s wheel closed about 70% of the seed furrow. The Zippers closed 100%.
It was beautiful. Never seen anything like it. We ordered 14 more rows of Zippers. We had the evenest emergence we have ever had this year. Several neighbors ordered them and had the same results.
We have three John Deere DB- 60 planters with the Zipper closing wheel on one side of the units. We like the condition of the sidewall behind the Zipper when we first start planting. When the ground is a little more heavy we see that the Zipper closes better. The furrow is closed better on top and eliminates air pockets around the seed.
We have used spike closing wheels in the past but they seemed to move the seed in the furrow, not allowing for proper seed placement. The Zipper won’t do that. We believe we are getting better seed placement and better emergence behind the Zipper.
I was having problems with rocks in the spiked closing wheels last year and was getting mad… Called Schaffert Mfg to get some more Rebounders and fertilizer tubes.
They asked if I would try the “Zipper” closing wheel. I was impressed with the Zippers and they didn’t pick any rocks up. Problem solved.
In 2014 I purchased 16 rows of Zippers for one John Deere 1770 planter. I planted cotton in one side (shown in left side of photos below) of the field with regular V closing wheels and the other side (shown in right side of photos below) with Zipper Closing Wheels.
We got a hard rain a day or two after planting. Normally with a hard rain, the cotton plants will have a hard time coming up or getting through the firmed soils. Cotton is very susceptible to crusting.
The Zipper Closing Wheels left the soil over the seed row mellower and more cushioned than the soil over the rows planted with regular closing wheels. After the hard rain, the mellower soil didn’t crust as bad as the flatter soil surface left by the regular wheels.
Five days later, cotton began to emerge from the rows planted with Zippers (see photo below). It was not yet coming up in the other rows.
We later took an aerial photo of the field (see below). The stand was much better where the Zipper wheels ran. There were more skips in the left side where the rubber wheels ran. My son attributes this difference to quicker emergence and less crusting with the Zipper Closing Wheels.
This year, I equipped four more planters with Zippers.
We have ran the zippers on about 500 acres of no-till beans into corn stalks and are quite pleased with the results so far. I have attached some pictures I took of a wet spot that had last year’s grass matted down on it.
I believe that the crumbling action of the spikes combined with the firming action of the solid portion of the wheel is key in getting rid of air pockets in our soil conditions. This holds true in drier areas as well. The spikes tend to break up chunks that the no-till coulters throw out and move that soil back over the seed trench. The wheels then firm the soil without packing it over the seed.
Thanks again for a well-designed product and EXCELLENT service!
I have run the G2 system with the Rebounders for two years, going on my third. I previously ran another brand of firmers and coulter system, and wasn’t satisfied with the results. When I bought my 9220 12 row White planter I found your system and really liked the way it looked.
The first season I ran it I knew I had made the right choice. The Rebounder seed covers do a great job of sealing/firming the seed trench without any dirt buildup, and the Zipper closing wheels do a really nice job of closing things up without the compaction of standard smooth wheels or even other spike wheels I’ve tried.
I did run one smooth wheel/one Zipper for part of the first season and noticed after the corn came up that the sprouts had come up through the side where the Zippers were. Where I had switched to running both Zippers, the corn pushed right up through the center with no problem at all. It made me a believer real fast.
Thanks for all your help getting me started originally, and I appreciate all you do if I have questions or need parts. It’s nice to have a manufacturer that works hard to make their product work no matter what your situation is. Great products, great company.