Seed Corn Plantability Guidelines by DuPont Pioneer
Seed Treatments & Seed Lubricants
Excellent planting accuracy and stands can be achieved with all seed sizes when using appropriate planter adjustments and calibration. These plantability guidelines are designed to provide management tips to help growers achieve maximum planter performance and precise planting accuracy with seed of all sizes.
For the most precise recommendations, you can access information for individual seed batch numbers and your specific planter type at www.pioneer.com/plantability.
The Pioneer plantability app allows users to easily scan a seed bag tag to indicate the product and seed size by batch. Once in the tool, planter type can be selected to maximize planter performance and seed-drop accuracy. The app then generates a customized grid with the suggested plate or disc size, pressure or vacuum setting speed, and the singular setting, in addition to the predicted seed drop for each individual batch and planter combination.
Hybrid Plantability with Seed Treatments
Pioneer Premium Seed Treatment (PPST) plus Lumivia™ insecticide seed treatment is the standard treatment for Pioneer® brand seed corn, providing protection against early-season fungal diseases and insects.
Also available is Pioneer brand seed corn treated with Poncho1250® VOTiVO® insecticide for enhanced insect control and protection against nematodes. Pioneer brand seed corn treated with Raxil® fungicide is provided on selected hybrids for additional disease protection in certain geographies.
All Pioneer Premium Seed Treatment offerings utilize polymer coatings for improved seed flow and plantability while reducing dust-off. Many planter manufacturers recommend adding talc or graphite to the seed to improve plantability. The polymers used as part of seed treatments by Pioneer are not intended as a substitute.
Fluency Agent from Bayer CropScience is available as an alternative for talc, graphite and talc/graphite blended planter seed lubricants. Fluency Agent helps reduce the amount of total dust and further minimizes the amount of active ingredient potentially released in treated seed dust during planting. Add Fluency Agent at the rate of 1/8 cup per 80,000-kernel unit of seed or 4 3/8 cups per 35 bushels.
IMPORTANT: Mix the Fluency Agent thoroughly into the seed. When filling large central fill seed hoppers, add the Fluency Agent to seed as it is filling the hopper to assure even distribution. DO NOT USE MORE THAN 1/8 CUP PER SEED UNIT! Fluency Agent can be used in all makes and types of planting equipment that recommend the use of a planter seed lubricant.
Delivery of seed from center-fill hopper to meter may be impacted by several factors. These include planting time, atmospheric environment, use of planter lubricant, ground speed, level of treatment, and seed size. The liberal use of talc, graphite, or a talc-graphite blend, specific by planter type, is critical. Thorough mixing of these lubricants in seed generally produces the best results. High population settings, combined with high ground speed may create challenges. Conversely, low population settings and/or low ground speed may create another set of challenges for certain seed types and/or treatments due to infrequent movement of the seed in the inductor or mini-hopper. If meters are “starving” for seed, reduced ground speed may provide a solution. The proper fan speed or pressure in the bulk delivery system is an adjustment that can be made to enhance seed delivery. This varies by planter manufacturer. Also, depending on the planter manufacturer, other attachments/adjustments may be available to enhance seed delivery. Consult the planter operator’s manual for proper setting and any troubleshooting guides. Larger seed, especially with high-rate treatment, can be delivered to the meter and planted accurately if consideration is given to the points above.
Seed Lubricant Guidelines By Planter Manufacturer*
*Refer to individual planter manufacturer owners manual for complete recommendations.
Kinze Manufacturing and John Deere finger-type planters – When planting treated seed, use your planter manufacturer’s recommended amounts of dry powdered graphite. To ensure good seed coverage, add graphite at several levels as the hopper is filled, rather than only on the top.
John Deere vacuum-type including ProMAX 40 Flat Disk – Talc lubricant is required for optimum performance of the vacuum meter and CCS system (if equipped). Add talc at the rate of 2.5 ounces per 80,000-kernel unit of seed or 11 cups per 35 bushels or 16 cups per 50-bushel fill. Adjust these rates as necessary so all seeds become coated with talc, while avoiding an accumulation of talc in the bottom or tank or hopper. Double the talc recommendation when planting small seed, large seed, seeds with heavy treatment, or in humid planting conditions. If seed treatment is building up on the disc, use additional talc. Add talc throughout the box while filling, not just on top.
John Deere Exactemerge planter – Talc-graphite lubricant is required for optimum performance of the vacuum meter and CCS system (if equipped). To obtain consistent seed release from the seed bowl and improve spacing accuracy, properly lubricate the seed.
Precision Planting eSet® or vSet® – Use 1/4 cup of the company’s eFlow seed lubricant (or an 80% talc/20% graphite mix) per 80,000-kernel bag. Heavily treated seed may require a higher rate.
Kinze Vacuum planter – Manufacturer recommends mixing 1 Tbsp of powdered graphite into each hopper-fill of seed. Mix thoroughly so all kernels are coated. Adjust graphite rate as needed. Planting in high humidity conditions may require use of talc as a drying agent.
Kinze Air Seed Delivery (ASD) system – Powdered graphite should be added with the seed each time the bulk seed hopper is filled. Use 1½ - 2 pounds per 50 units of seed. Graphite should be added in layers as the bulk seed hoppers are filled. Use of powdered graphite will prolong the life of the seed meter components, reduce buildup of seed treatment on components in the meter and improve seed spacing.
White Planters – When using insecticide treated seed the manufacturer recommends mixing 1/3 cup of talc per bushel hopper fill, or one gallon per 45-bushel tank when filling CFS. Spread the talc on the seed in layers as the central hoppers are filled. Seed treatments may also affect seed monitor performance and require periodic cleaning of the seed disc.
Case IH vacuum Advanced Seed Meter (ASM) – Graphite is recommended for lubrication. Talc is not recommended as a sole lubricant for the Advanced Seed Meter, though it may be added to graphite to improve flow in bulk delivery of seed.
One-Row Hopper: Case IH recommends 1/8 cup of graphite per row- unit hopper.
Bulk Fill System: Case IH recommends 1/8 cup of graphite per two units of seed as a starting point for most seed sizes and treatments. Some seed sizes and treatments may require additional lubrication to flow into the delivery system in high humidity conditions. In such situations, a 50-50 blend of talc and graphite is acceptable within the system.
Monosem Precision Planters – No seed lubricant is required for row-unit box planters. Talc is recommended for all central-fill planters. Use 1/3 to 1/2 cups talc per bushel. Double the usage rate for high humidity or heavy seed treatments.
Planter and Meter Maintenance
Planter and meter maintenance are critical to seed singulation, spacing accuracy and planting the targeted population. Even spacing reduces competition between plants and maximizes ear count. Extensive research conducted by Pioneer has consistently shown that with other variables remaining constant, improved plant spacing produces a yield increase. It is recommended that meters be inspected and maintained prior to season to allow for optimal performance. Several opportunities exist for professional assistance with meter maintenance and calibration, including assistance from your Pioneer sales professional.
Optimizing Planter Performance
Optimizing Performance of John Deere Vacuum Planters
- Singulator settings based on a 1-10 scale with a recommended starting point of 5, and are available on the Pioneer plantability app and on Pioneer.com.
- The manufacturer’s recommended maximum operating speed is 38 disk RPMs.
- This planter uses vacuum rather than air pressure to hold the seed against the disks.
- Three disks are available: regular, small, and ProMAX 40. The standard corn disk (A50617) will accurately plant seed sizes up to approximately 2,000 seeds per pound. The small disk (A43215) is designed for small seed – usually greater than 2,000 seeds per pound. The ProMAX 40 Flat disk (A52391) is designed to plant all seed sizes.
- The ProMAX 40 disk may under-populate if vacuum is too low. Set at higher vacuum levels, the ProMax 40 disk is much more tolerant because the doubles eliminator prevents over-population.
- Vacuum levels taken from charts are a starting point. However, high-rate seed treatment, uneven ground conditions and/or faster ground speeds require higher levels of vacuum than indicated. Perform a field check and adjust level to obtain proper population.
- John Deere also recommends adding talc to improve seed singulation and row spacing of all treated seed.
- MaxEmerge™ 5 ProMAX 40 disk (A52391): PDF, PDR, F14, R22, R23
- MaxEmerge™ 5 Standard disk (A50617): PDF, PDR, F14, R22, R23
- MaxEmerge™ 5 Small disk (A43215): PDF, PDR, F14, R22, R23
- ExactEmerge™ (A92777): PDF, PDR, F14, R22, R23
Tips When Using Precision Planting vSet® & eSet®
- One disk plants all seed sizes.
- Most seed plants at 15” to 22” of vacuum.
- Very large seed may benefit from additional vacuum.
- Precision Planting recommends use of their eFlow lubricant, a mix of talc and graphite.
Optimizing Performance of Kinze Vacuum Planter
- Two corn disks are available for the EdgeVac® meter:
- Corn disk will plant seed sizes in the range of 35 to 70 lbs per 80,000 kernel bag (2,286 to 1,143 seeds per lb.)
- For most kernel sizes, it is recommended to set vacuum at 18”. Singulator settings for corn should be set on 2.2 with fine adjustments for improved singulation.
- For larger, heavier seed, set at 20” for best plantability. Incrementally increase the vacuum level to improve accuracy as needed on larger, more heavily treated seed.
- Singulator brush settings on this planter range from 1 (least aggressive) to 11 (most aggressive). Manufacturer recommends a range of 5-7 for corn. DuPont Pioneer lab testing suggests a setting of 8 or 9 may improve accuracy for larger seed.
Install selected seed disc. Position vacuum cover on meter by aligning keyhole slots over bolt heads. Push cover on meter and turn counter clockwise to lock in place.
Optimizing Performance of Kinze or John Deere Finger Planters
- The manufacturer’s recommended maximum operating speed is 75 finger RPMs. This corresponds to the maximum suggested ground speed for most sprocket combinations. Ground speed will vary depending on the sprocket combination being used.
- Proper finger and spring tension is important.
- John Deere factory specifications are that fingers should be set at 23 to 25 inch lbs. Consult owner’s manual for adjustment procedure.
- Kinze factory specifications are 22 to 25 inch lbs. of rolling torque. Consult owner’s manual for adjustment procedure.
- Worn parts should be replaced. Worn brushes can cause up to 15 percent overplant, especially when using smaller kernel sizes. Grooves worn into the faceplate also can cause overplanting.
Finger mechanism planter meter: Finger mechanism planter meters can accurately plant a wide range of kernel sizes. Finger tension adjustment for large seed sizes such as R22, and small kernel sizes such as PDF® seed may improve drop accuracy. Individual meter calibration using the actual seed size to be planted, can significantly improve the spacing accuracy of this finger mechanism meter. Increasing field speed increases seed drop on these planter units.
Always check actual field populations to ensure desired accuracy. If desired drop is not achieved, consider the following options:
- Well-maintained planter units experience less variance. Have a qualified technician check planter unit condition and adjustment. Proper calibration using the actual seed size to be planted will help minimize this problem.
- Move sprocket combination up one setting. Population drop will increase by approximately 3%. Consult manufacturer operator’s operation manual.
- Seed coated thoroughly with graphite will provide potential increase in seed drop of 1-2%.
- Plant within the manufacturer’s recommended speed range.
Precision Planting Finger-Type Precision Meter
Pioneer has not tested plantability of the precision meter from Precision Planting because it is assumed these units will be custom calibrated by a trained MeterMax® technician. If all seed being planted is large (R23 or R22), Precision Planting makes shims (part number 34056) that may be placed under the cam to increase the opening height of the fingers. The standard finger configuration will do an adequate job on large seeds, and is preferred if planting a variety of small, medium and large seed sizes.
Optimizing Performance of White Planters
- The manufacturer recommends a disk speed of 32 RPMs with suggested disk and air pressure. Adjustments to air pressure can be made depending upon the disk used and the kernel size being planted. Smaller seeds usually require less air pressure.
- Air pressure can be adjusted from 1.0 to 5.0 inches of water. The percentage of skips or doubles is managed with increases or decreases in air pressure.
- The manufacturer does not recommend the use of talc with the seed unless seed coatings interfere with metering.
- A disk (700736528) (Catalog #6001409) is now available for planting PDF, F14 and F12 flat seed sizes, 1200 to 2200 seeds/lb.
Optimizing Performance of Monosem NG+ Planters
Singulator setting of +1, adjust as needed to singulate.
Recommended seed plate DC2450 (24 cell) or DC3050 (30 cell).
Optimizing Performance of Case IH 1200 Series ASM Planters
- Manufacturer vacuum range for corn planting is 18-22 inches of water vacuum.
- Seed disk number indicates number of holes and hole diameter. For example, seed disk 4855 contains 48 holes with each hole 5.5 mm in diameter.
- Vacuum level is set by adjusting fan speed control with seed on disk. Setting is in inches of water (inches H20).
- Meter cover indicates baffle setting number. Meter inspection without draining seed can be made when baffle is set to position 0 (fully closed).
- Do not use singulator dial (lever) settings to control gross population; excessive doubles or skips will occur. Higher dial setting decreases singulator interference with seed disk holes.
- Pioneer testing indicates all Pioneer kernel sizes can be planted accurately with this unit. Test results for most seed sizes average within +/- 1% of the expected drop with this equipment.
- Testing conducted at the DuPont Pioneer plantability laboratory suggest vacuum and singulator settings in the manufacturer’s owner’s manual should be considered as a starting point. Variations may be necessary to achieve optimum plantability, especially for larger and more heavily treated seed.
- Remember to change singulators back after each seed adjustment for larger seed.
Optimizing Performance of Case IH 800, 900, 950 & 955 Early Riser Planters
- The manufacturer recommended maximum drum speed is 35 RPMs, with seed metered in a 36-hole drum. Air pressure should be set from 9 to 11 ounces.
- Plant all seed sizes except R22 and R23 using 9 ounces of pressure. Plant R22 and R23 seed sizes at 11 ounces of pressure.
- Adjust the brush to the down position for all seed sizes. For most seed sizes, do not wire the brush down as is done for soybean planting. However, R22 and R23 seed are the exception and may plant best with the brush wired down.
- Replace the entire brush assembly when wear is apparent.