Oats and Seed Firmers

Published Feb 7, 1998

There are always some trials that are not easily categorized. In 1997, that included an oats trial by Jeff and Gayle Olson, Mt. Pleasant, that compared corn and soybeans as preceding crops for oats. In this case the oats after soybeans yielded 8.2 bushels per acre better than oats after corn (Table 8). Jeff does not know how to explain the difference. He says emergence, stands, and maturity date appeared similar. It is possible that more soil nitrogen was available to the oats after soybeans than after corn, but no tissue or soil tests were done to shed light on this hypothesis.

Dave and Lisa Lubben, Monticello, repeated a trial for the third year that involves a seed firmer attachment for their no-till planter. For the past two years there has been a non-significant yield reduction where the firmer was used. In 1997, the reduction was statistically significant (Table 8). This leaves Dave scratching his head, since he expected a positive effect if any. Since the firmers are mounted permanently on four units of his eight-row planter, it is possible that differences among the planter units themselves are confounding the effect of the seed firmer. However, Dave has not observed stand differences among rows. Does anyone want to repeat this trial on their own farm?