A Look at Planter Adjustments for Planting into Cover Crops

 When adjusting your planter to run through high-residue cover crops, Trey Hill has some advice: Don’t get too comfy! 

“You have to check it every single field,” the northeastern Maryland farmer explains. “There’s no standard. Every field is completely different.” Between the cover crop species and mixes in a field, the previous crop’s leftover nutrients, planting dates and the different spring crop you are seeding, each field may require different settings, Hill says. 

Row cleaners, gauge wheels, disk openers, row closers, roller crimpers — all these planter components may need adjustments for planting green into high-residue cover crops. (Photo credits: Claudio Rubione, GROW)

Hill and his staff at Harborview Farms have spent a decade experimenting with different corn and soybean planter set-ups to successfully plant green into varying stands of cover crops each spring. They invited GROW for a close-up view of the planting systems they have constructed. 

Watch the video below for an in-depth look at the different components they’ve adopted in their planters, including roller crimpers, row cleaners, gauge wheels, closing wheels and more. 

For more information on using cover crops for weed suppression, see this GROW webpage. Check out this page for more information on successfully terminating your cover crops, and follow GROW news coverage of cover crops here.

Video and photos by Claudio Rubione, GROW; text by Emily Unglesbee, GROW