Planting season is over for many, but a good reminder is to always Get Out and Look…or G.O.A.L.
for short. Check out the job your planter is doing and evaluate how the seed is going in the ground.

Usually, we dig around with a pocketknife or a seed depth checker, but a leaf blower can really tell
you a lot about planter and soil performance. Here below, I am using a leaf blower to remove loose
soil from the row and then expose what the planter unit is doing below the tilled area. In this case, we
can see the 2X2 fertilizer coulter, the seed trench and the spike closing wheels. While this may look
compacted, the soil has good tilth and crumbles very easily around the seed. This means that the seed
trench does not consist of side wall compaction and the seeds are very evenly spaced.

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About the Author: Kelly Robertson

Kelly Robertson has been a soil fertility agronomist and precision agriculture consultant since 1989 and also spends time in farm/agronomy management roles for farms in Southern Illinois. In 2012, Kelly and his wife Lori started Precision Crop Services in Benton where they provide agronomic services for their customers including soil testing, crop scouting, data analysis, GPS/GIS services including variable rate seeding and fertility recommendations as well as farm and agronomy management for their customers. He is a Certified Professional Agronomist, Certified Crop Advisor, Certified 4R Nutrient Management Specialist, 2015 Illinois Soybean Association Double-Crop Specialist, 2016 Illinois CCA of the Year and the 2021 Illinois Soybean Assoc. Dave Rahe Excellence in Soils Consulting Award winner.

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