Three-Year Closing Wheel Study in Corn

The study was conducted from 2017 to 2019 on 8* different fields. At each location, four different side-by-side treatments consisted of closing wheel settings one (least aggressive), two, three, or four (most aggressive).

March 1, 2021 by AGCO

Three-Year Closing Wheel Study in Corn

The study was conducted from 2017 to 2019 on 8* different fields. At each location, four different side-by-side treatments consisted of closing wheel settings one (least aggressive), two, three, or four (most aggressive).

The objective of this study was to measure the yield impact of closing wheel aggressiveness across multiple soil types and different tillage practices.  

Overall, adjusting closing wheel settings did not have a significant impact on grain yield across all 8 locations except for the most aggressive setting (Figure 1). The second closing wheel setting did result in the highest average yield across all locations but was closely followed by the third and then first setting. Compared to the first three closing wheel settings, which averaged about 221 bushels per acre, there was a 3 bushel per acre yield loss when closing wheels were set to the most aggressive setting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Observations: 
Closing wheels should be set with just enough pressure to consistently close the seed furrow.   Closing wheel aggressiveness will always need to be adjusted for soil type, tillage practice, and planting conditions.
Excessive closing wheel force at the most aggressive setting can cause compaction in the row, particularly in moist soils, that results in inconsistent emergence.

Recommendations and Equipment Solutions: 
White Planters™ have easily adjustable closing wheel settings that can fit any planting scenario.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payback: 
$18.75** improvement in return per acre when closing wheels were in setting two compared to setting four in our study.
*8 sites: 2017 – Ionia, IA; Morning Sun, IA; Galva, IL; 2018 – Bement, IL; Gladbrook, IA; Union City, OH; Falls City, NE; 2019 – Emmetsburg, IA;
**Assumes five bushels/acre yield increase at $3.75/bushel

 

 

 

Written by  Jason Lee, AGCO Agronomist, North America. Connect with Jason on LINKEDIN.

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