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2021 SureForce™ Side-by-Side Corn Trial – Eastern NE

What We Were Testing For:

We will evaluate the final stand between rows planted with airbags and the rows planted with the SureForce™ system. The 16 row John Deere planter had rows 1-8 equipped with airbags and rows 9-16 equipped with the SureForce™ system. This side-by-side trial will allow us to evaluate population and singulation accuracy in the field between the two systems. One of the unique aspects of this trial is that the grower set his rows equipped with airbags at their optimum settings to compete against the rows equipped with the SureForce system. Follow along as we evaluate this side-by-side trial to evaluate the performance of the two systems. 

Early Season Findings:

Emergence and early season visuals showed the advantage of using the SureForce system in this side-by-side. As you can see from the pictures below, the plants that were planted with the SureForce system had a better stand establishment. There were other noticeable differences between the two systems as the crop went through early season growth and into the later part of the season. We noted more consistent plant stature, consistent ear height, and more consistent plant spacing with the plants that were planted with the SureForce system. This trial will be a must see come harvest as we compare the yield results and harvestability of the airbag and SureForce treatments. Stay tuned for more information! 

This is a gauge wheel down force map shown in AgFiniti®. The map shows the treatments in the trial for rows 1-8 with the airbag system and rows 9-16 with the SureForce system.

Trial Location:
Eastern Nebraska

Product Tested:
Split-planter comparison to showcase the difference between airbags and SureForce™ at planting.

Crop Type:

Brett explains the SureForce install process for setting up the side-by-side trial in Eastern Nebraska.

This is a close-up of the gauge wheel down force map shown in AgFiniti®. 

 Watch the SureForce side-by-side trial be planted in Eastern Nebraska. 

Brett evaluates seed depth of corn planted by the airbag system. 

Brett shows how SureForce performs in seed depth accuracy in this field evaluation. 

This trial used a 16-row planter. Here the rows on the left were planted with airbags and the rows on the right were with SureForce.

This image is split-row comparison between airbag system and SureForce system. The rows on the left were planted with the airbag system, while the rows on the right were planted with the SureForce system. 

Harvest Observations and Insights:

With every row equipped with gauge wheel load sensors, the operator was able to adjust airbag pressure as conditions changed. What we noticed was that conditions were different enough from row to row that airbags were not able to generate a desirable target for each row. Some were >200 lbs while a neighboring row was <50 lbs. SureForce is able to overcome both the pass-to-pass variability and the row-to-row variability. This particular field is irrigated, which can reduce the negative impact of planting errors such as shallow planting or compacted trench. SureForce produced a measured 2% increase in harvestable ears, with a yield boost of 2.4%. SureForce added an additional 5.26 bushels/acre over airbags. This is more than enough to pay for this 16 row SureForce system in 1 year covering only 700 acres.  

  Notice that the SureForce system operated almost exclusively between 100 and 400 lbs of applied downforce. The operator’s decision to initially set the airbags to 250lbs of applied downforce, and later increasing that to over 300 lbs was the correct decision. Having the airbags set correctly for the average field conditions provides an excellent example of the payoff that can be expected from a SureForce system.  



This is a summarization of data collected in one year and represents only what happened across the tested field in 2021.  It is not a rigorous evaluation of factors that may or may not influence yield.  Results may not predict future performance and may not be complete.

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