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 outthe job your planter is doing andevaluatehow the seed is going in theground.
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. Herebelow,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.
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.
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and government relations efforts, while the membership program, Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) and the Illinois Soybean Growers PAC actively advocates for positive and impactful legislation for farmers at local, state and national levels. ISA upholds the interests of Illinois soybean farmers through promotion, advocacy, research and education with the vision of becoming a trusted partner of Illinois soybean farmers to ensure their profitability now and for future generations.