Switching the Planter to Soybeans

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

We get a lot of questions about switching the planter from corn to beans, and for good reason.  Sometimes it is pretty simple, but for other models and monitors it is not quite so easy.

In a John Deere Vac planter with a Pro-Max 40 disk, obviously you will need to change the disk from the 40 cell corn disk to the 108 cell soybean disk.  You will also need to change the “knocker” wheel in the black meter vacuum chamber door to the “wiper.”  If you have a mini hopper planter you will also need to change the short brush with the “double stair step” to the brush with the “single stair step.”  The long step will go towards the outer radius of the meter.  The short step will be towards the inner hub of the meter.  Make sure you don’t install backwards.  Vac level settings should be around 8” of H20.  You will need to use talc in central fill planter even with beans.  If the beans are treated, you will need to use about the same rate of talc as what is used in corn.  Untreated beans can usually have the talc rate cut in half from corn.  If it is a warm humid day, take extra care to use plenty of talc and make sure it is well mixed in the hopper with the seed.

If you have a planter with a variable rate hydraulic seed drive then you will need to go into the section in the monitor where you enter the target rates and change the selected disk to “soybean.”  Failure to do this will result in an extreme overplant condition.  Keep in mind that the high rate sensors on many planters 10 or more years old will not count every bean, especially in a 30” row.  They can be 5-10% lower than the actual depending on a lot of factors.  Even the newer accu-count sensors may show slightly lower that the expected.  If the monitor is showing lower than expected, double check the beans per foot in the seed trench to verify that you are getting the correct population.

In an Exactemerge planter, you will need to use the 64 cell soybean bowl.  The “rumble strip” at the lower radius of the meter housing will need to be changed to the smooth unit.  Next, the double eliminator will need to be lowered to extreme lower setting line.  This will be well below the 3 corn setting lines.  Don’t forget to change the selected disk in the seed setup portion of the monitor to the soybean bowl and select your target population.

If your planter is a 1790 split row planter there are a couple more items to check.  In the monitor under the seed setup where you put in your target population, you will need to select the number of rows for beans.  If you have a 16/31 planter for example it will show a 16 or a 31 with a box.  Select the 31 and the monitor will change your row spacing and turn on the additional seed sensors automatically. If you have a 350 monitor you should only need to change the “Split” button and the monitor will change the row spacing and turn on the other sensors automatically.  Don’t forget to let down your back rows off of the stops so they will engage the ground at the proper depth as well.

You view more information on the Deere seed meter on this video:

Good luck throughout the rest of the spring planting season.

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at www.sloans.com

 

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