Check-Row Planting with a Tractor

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I would like to add my observations of check-row planting (Farm Collector, February 2009, “Check-Row Planting: By the Book”), although I did not do the planting: my father did. I cultivated a lot of corn with an Oliver 70 and 2-row cultivator going both ways in checked corn.

The farmers were making the transition from horses to tractors by cutting off the tongues of the horse-drawn equipment and bolting on steel plates drilled to accept hitching to the tractor drawbar. The horse-drawn planter had only one drop valve, which was located directly below the planter box. My father allowed the horses to travel at walking speed and all was well.

When he converted to planting with the tractor he was able to travel faster. The distance that the seed corn had to drop in relation to the increased travel speed placed the seed too far behind the wire drop point for the cross rows to line up, so we could not cross-cultivate. Weed control was achieved by using crop rotation rather than cross-cultivating.

Several years later my father bought a used tractor planter with check-row wire but did not use the wire as it was not necessary and required more time to plant the corn.


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