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Veteran Contributor

packer vs. rolling baskets

We have always used a single row packer last pass in front of the planter, to bust up clods & like the firm surface for the planter to ride on, kinda feel like our depth is more consistant this way. Without it the planter seems to leave a mound of loose dirt between the rows so corn planted 2" deep after a down pour is now 3 or 4" deep. But had some trouble with stand on early corn last year & some are saying it was caused by the packer & we should use a set of rolling baskets instead. Any thoughts?


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Re: packer vs. rolling baskets

   Heavy clay here.  Before no till 2 field cultivator passes and 1 with a drag and cultipacker was the norm.  1990-91 no till swept the area like the plague.  What used to take a month to plant could now be done in a week and a half.  With herbicide resistance and fields becoming uneven for whatever reasons more tillage is being done.  Example: I have a field that has a creek that floods it every spring thaw.  Bean straw debris piles up at the high water mark, also some erosion where the water makes it's way back to the creek when the water level drops.  I used to burn the straw and just level out the eroded areas with a back blade.  Then I got RR resistant ragweed from someone upstream that washed in during the annual flood.  I had thought of the rolling basket tool but didn't think it would do much in our heavy ground.  About 4 years ago I found one that suited me pricewise and tried it.  I really like it.  Yes it leaves the ground looser and cloddier.  I make at least 2 passes with the field cultivator with 3 bar floating drag and the rolling baskets.  Preferably a week apart to give a second flush of weeds time to emerge. I leave the planter set the same as for no till.  Planter breaks up clods and leaves a nice seed bed.  Not sure how it would work with a drill but I'm pleased with how it all works with my Deere 7240 split row planter.

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