The right planter maintenance and settings are vital to seeding all types of sunflowers, and becomes even more important the larger the seed size.
Planter mechanical issues can lead to undesirable large variances in head size, moisture, kernel size and quality. Poor planting passes can also lead to lodging and make harvesting difficult.
Two Important Steps for Planter Settings
1. Parallel arms should be parallel to the ground and are corrected by adjusting the bar height.
2. Use wood blocks of the same thickness to ensure each row’s mechanical depth setting is identical to the rest of the planter.
Always When Planting Sunflowers
- Be prepared to switch plates, baffle settings, singulator or double eliminator settings, and vacuum or air pressure for desired singulation. Revisit settings between seed lots
- Use a lubricant, such as eFlow® 80/20 Seed Lubricant Ensure your vacuum is set properly as your skips and multiples should be close to equal (if more multiples, lower your vacuum; if more skips, increase your vacuum)
- Know the speed your planter’s meters operate at best for each lot of seed. Some lots may require faster or slower speeds than normal Consider filling your planter hoppers half full to reduce bridging potential
- Be willing to dig seeds to check seed depth and spacing