Cotton Farming Peanut Grower Rice Farming CornSouth Soybean South  
spacer
topgraphic
HOME ARCHIVE ABOUT US CALENDAR LINKS SUBSCRIBE ADVERTISE CLASSIFIEDS
In This Issue
Battle Plan
Rice Seed Midge
Take Time To Calibrate
California Weed Control Strategies
From the Editor
Rice Producers Forum
USA Rice Federation
Specialists Speaking
Industry News
ARCHIVES

Take Time To Calibrate

Follow the right procedure to protect seed cost investment

By Carroll Smith
Editor
 
print email

Properly calibrating a grain drill is one of the most important pre-plant exercises to make sure your rice crop gets off to a good start this season. Following is a checklist that outlines this procedure prepared by Dr. Johnny Saichuk, LSU AgCenter Extension rice specialist.

“We were calibrating here for hybrid rice, but the only difference is in the rate per acre,” Saichuk explains.

 
Spreadsheets, Videos And
Phone Apps
 

For farmers who plant hybrid rice, the seed expense is probably the main reason to make sure that the grain drill is properly calibrated. To make this task as simple as possible, RiceTec offers a spreadsheet, drill calibration videos and soon-to-come apps for the iPhone and the Droid.

“Using the calibration spreadsheet, farmers enter information found on the seed bag, the circumference of the drive wheel and the distance between each of the drill rows,” says Brian Ottis, RiceTec’s Marketing and Client Support Manager. “The standard row width is 7 and 1/2 inches, but some farmers use 8 inches, and, in Mississippi on the heavy soils, producers may go to a 10-inch row width.

“If a farmer has a wider spread between each drill row, the amount of seed has to be increased to get the same plant-per-acre population,” he adds. “The spreadsheet allows the farmer to make those small adjustments for seed size, which is indicated on our seed bags as seeds per pound.”

The videos explain how to enter information into the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet’s built-in calculator figures how many grams of seed are required to have the drill properly calibrated.

“The farmer also will need a small digital scale, which easily can be bought on the Internet,” Ottis says. “Another plus for the spreadsheet is that it can be used for soybeans, wheat, sorghum or anything that can be planted with a grain drill.”

To carry the convenience factor one step further, once the iPhone and Droid apps are available, farmers will have the spreadsheet literally in their pockets and can go step-by-step through the process right there on their smart phones.
 

• Determine drill spacing in FEET. 7 inches or 7 in/12 in = .58 ft.

• Divide 43,560 square feet per acre by .58 feet to determine the linear distance under each runner to cover one acre. 43,560 ft2/.58 ft = 75,103 ft.

• Determine the number of seed per acre needed based on the desired planting rate of 30 pounds per acre. 19,120 seed per pound (on the bag) x 30 lbs = 573,600 seed per acre.

• Determine the seed per foot of drill row by dividing seed per acre by feet per drill row per acre. 573,600 seed/75,130 ft = 7.64 seed per foot.

• Determine the effective circumference of the drive wheel. Mark the wheel and the starting point, then drive the planter while counting the revolutions of the wheel and mark the spot where 10 revolutions are completed. Measure this distance. Convert the inches in the measured distance to decimal. Divide this distance by 10.

• For example: Measured 76’8”; then 8”/12” = .67’; and 76.67’/10 revolutions = 7.67’ per revolution (effective circumference). 7.64’ seed per foot x 7.67 feet per revolution = 59 seed per revolution or 295 seed per five revolutions.

“If you have questions about the procedure, call your county agent,” Saichuk says. “There are a number of procedures published by seed companies and others that will do the calculations for you, providing you plug in the correct information. After a couple of times, it gets easier and faster. For the benefits you realize, it’s clearly worth the time and effort to calibrate.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
email
Tell a friend:
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


ad2

 

end