Verified FBN Member (KS)
Machinery

Will hydraulic downforce or row shut offs offer more ROI?

On this same line of thinking what kind of seed savings have you seen with row shut offs. We have a higher percent of fields that are fairly square. I am talking on a 24 row planter that is half width disconnect and ground drive. It would cost similar amounts to go with electric drives as hyd downforce and trying to decide which I would do first. Thanks

Verified FBN Member (NE)

Hydraulic downforce will be used across all your acres where clutches will only be used on 5-6% of your total acres. Corn acres are where clutches pay as you can't really overplant soybeans so that adds to the payback time too. The smaller our planting window becomes/the more challenging conditions we'll have to face, Downforce management will become a requirement rather than an option for most in my opinion.

Verified FBN Member (SD)

Used air clutches are really cheap. Why not do both?

Verified FBN Member (ND)

depends if you have perfect soils that do not vary you will not see a return to hydraulic down force. If you have variable soils Hydraulic down force is a huge improvement over springs or airbags. In regard to clutches if all your fields are square quarter sections that you pull up to the head land lift up and stop planting then no clutches will not pay. if you have triangular fields clutches will save lots on seed quickly. The path I took was deltforce first for two years and ran on my e-sets and deere clutches then we eventually went to vSet vDrive 2 years ago. If resources are scarce get the deltforce first then wait to upgrade to vSet vDrive.

Verified FBN Member (SD)

Down force times 100. Seed depth is as important or even more important than singulation in my opinion.

Verified FBN Member (MS)

Row shut off are super important for us, but we farm in very small, odd shaped fields. So we do endrows everywhere. Including in cotton.

Verified FBN Member (MN)

I would go for the shutoffs first. The First year we had induvial row shut offs (before Electric Drives) we returned 25 bags of seed over what we use to order on just two fields. And at harvest you will have better yield then the overlap and that will help pay for adding hyd downforce the next year.

Verified FBN Member (IA)

We have both, downforce is more critical. Shutoffs are nice, but depth is more critical than overplanting a little on the ends.

Verified FBN Member (IL)

Hydraulic down force has a sensor that reads guage wheel pressure 10-12 times per second and adjusts itself. You want to apply just enough force that the ground contact shows 99-100%, and Hydraulic down force constantly maintains that. Huge deal for no till in my opinion. Our soils vary greatly and this assures you're not mashing it too deep into wet or lighter soil and it's still the right depth in heavier soils. I wouldn't count on it paying on soybeans, but defiantly on corn.

Verified FBN Member (IA)

Downforce first...even emergence number one...after seeing a downforce map you would be surprised how soil density varies. We tend to over apply down force to make sure we stay in ground...a wet year like 2019 can be a disaster if too much. You need both but if not " do the force" first.

Verified FBN Member (ND)

We have both. We have variable soil types and plenty of potholes. it wasn’t cheap adding it at the time but we now plant a little faster more accurately and was cheaper then trading for a wider planter. I like that there’s no chains that can jump off from corn stalks when notilling beans. I’d recommend doing both but especially hyd downforce

Verified FBN Member (NE)

Clutches are electric and predictive. Downforce is reactive. Predictive technology and electronics has great pay back in ag. Reactive things take years for payback. For example, hydraulic and air downforce do not predict when to act, they only act after the fact. When you drive into a compacted place in the field your downforce won't react to that problem for probably 10 feet therefore most of what it's doing is not where it needs to be anyway. Yes it's better than without, but if you have any kind of curve terrain or terraces the shutoff and section control will pay for itself in a year or two. Eventually row units will have sensors ahead that will change the downforce exactly when it should. That will pay. Currently the active downforce technology is like a sprayer with a light bar vs a sprayer with GPS guidance. The light bar is better than the foam drops, but not that much better

Verified FBN Member (MN)

Downforce first in my operation. I would not have guessed that until having it. I had pneumatic on the previous planter. In odd shaped fields, the shut offs will pay for itself. Downforce will pay for itself everywhere. I wouldn’t go without both ever again unless I had all nice square fields where the shut offs don’t help

Verified FBN Member (OH)

If a high speed planter is part of the equation, downforce becomes a necessity not an option.

Verified FBN Member (ND)

Does anyone have proof that hydraulic down pressure has a Roi?? I know the system works and it's neat to see the map. I also know that people brag about how great something is just because they spent a ton of money on it. I am guilty of this as well but I haven't ever seen a really good test proving there is a Roi.

Verified FBN Member (MN)

Your return on investment is even emergence while drastically reducing sidewall smearing. I would agree that The value of that is hard to put an exact number on. In my operation, the value Easily exceeds the cost because I have some variable soils.

Verified FBN Member (ND)

I know what you are suppose to get with hydraulic down pressure but no one can give me a $$ figure. Can't pay the dealership with better looking crops... I think over the last 2 years especially we have learned crops that don't look great can still yield great.

Verified FBN Member (IL)

************, you need to learn how to do a flag test. If all your corn ears are on the same node, the same size and weight then you don't need it. I have not found a person anywhere that has 100% of their corn come up in a 12 hour window, and that's the only way you'll accomplish it.

Verified FBN Member (IL)

I put Delta force on my corn rows last year and left the springs on front interplant rows. When I went to harvest the beans, the front rows had at best, a 50% stand in several places while the rear hydraulic had a great stand with obviously larger, more fruit filled plants. At least double the pods on the hydraulic rows. Wether the springs didn't press hard enough to get good seed depth or planted too deep, it depended on the soil type.

Verified FBN Member (OH)

After running it for three years, I think I’d rather part with the field cultivator. I personally think the roi is better. In 2018 we had both of our big tractors break down the last day of the season with rain in the forecast. I decided to just run the planter and spray post to finish up. Ended up I couldn’t have gotten back in to finish for two weeks because of the rain and my corn yields were some of my best that I’ve had in that field. Always before we have seen a 5-15 bushel drag in our no till, but since delta force, things have changed. We have variable soils where we are at in Ohio.

Verified FBN Member (MN)

If your fields are truly almost square, most likely downforce will pay back the quickest. If you already have air and are not running a high speed planter the payback will be a lot slower. In my area, hands down, the row shut offs are the first thing to have. 20-30 bushel increase on overlap acres and then the seed cost savings. We have both systems.

Verified FBN Member (IA)

Down force no.1. Not prejudiced to brand but needs to be hydraulic. First year I was amazed at how bad I was at knowing where my air bag pressure should’ve been in previous years. Now my depth wheels float on the ground as to before they were plowing dirt all the time The combo of electric meters and hydraulic down force was a game changer. Never a doubt!!

Welcome! You only have 2 free posts remaining.

Our FBN ® Community Forum is exclusive to . To become a Verified Farmer, sign up for your free account and gain access to our secure online farming community.