The foundation of creating the ideal seed environment for emergence is to create a clean path. Here are a few of the negative agronomic impacts of having residue near a seed and the roots of a young plant:
- Residue wicks moisture away from the soil which delays germination.
- Residue acts as insulation and prevents the soil around the seed from warming up. In fact, daytime temperature around residue is 15°-20° cooler versus no residue.
- When soil warms up to 60°, residue starts to decay and excrete toxins which can cause seedling blight. Seedling blight causes the seed or seedling to rot and not germinate.
Also, nutrient deficiency starts to occur when soil warms up to 60°; microbial activity immobilizes available nitrates and phosphates for energy, creating competition with young roots and plants for available nutrients.
To create a clean path for your row unit to run on, you need your row cleaner working at peak performance. Below are 5 ways to optimize row cleaner performance:
- Flotation: The row cleaner needs to be able to be engaged with the surface without gouging too deep and moving too much soil. You want flotation across all conditions.
- Consistent Engagement: Row cleaner wheels need to be engaged with the ground 100% of the time to do a good job of row cleaning. Sometimes lift pressure is needed to counteract the weight of the row cleaner in light soils, but it can also cause the row unit to bounce and disengage from the ground.
- Adjustable Tine Depth: No matter the environment, adjustable tine depth is important. Depending on the field environment your row cleaner is running in, having more aggressive tine engagement will improve your cleaning, but in other field conditions, you might need to shallow up.
- Cab Adjustability: Typically, you don’t know optimal cleaning settings until you’re at full planting speed out in the field. The ability to make down-pressure changes from the cab as you look out the back window is ideal.
- Row Unit Ride: Our field studies have shown that row-unit mounted row cleaners negatively affect row unit ride. Row unit bounce increases by 3x compared to no row cleaner engaged. The bouncing also increases the variability that your down-pressure system needs to counteract.
Reveal is frame-mounted, removing its impact on the row unit. With its own internal gauge wheel, Reveal precisely controls the depth of the cleaning tines to create a consistently clean and ideal seeding environment for even emergence to occur. Our studies have shown an increase of +5.6% in Good Ride when Reveal is used compared to other row-unit mounted row cleaners. Utilizing SmartFirmer, a seed-firmer sensor that measures the furrow, we saw an increase of +2.9% in Clean Furrow value with Reveal.