Grain Drill Calibration


   Planting season is near, seed is being delivered, and folks are beginning the process of grain drill calibration. As I’m sure you already know getting the correct amount of seed sewn properly is extremely important. It all begins with determining how much seed is needed to achieve the optimum stand and setting the grain drill to plant it. At RiceTec, we provide tools and research based information to our customers that make this process as easy as possible.
   Let’s address the question of “how much should I plant?” In order to answer that, we need to work backwards and determine how many plants per square foot are needed to achieve maximum yield potential. Four hybrid rice plants per square foot uniformly distributed across the field is enough to reach the maximum yield potential. Planting 450,000 seeds per acre (about 22 lbs.) equates to 10.3 seeds per square foot. This seeding rate is generally sufficient to reach the desired stand density. A lot of factors come in to play with this and nobody knows your equipment or field conditions better than you.  Under tougher conditions (rough seedbed, no-till, broadcast, or heavy clay soils), it may sometimes be wise to increase the seeding rate to compensate for those factors.
   At RiceTec we offer drill calibration assistance to our customers. If you’re a RiceTec customer in need of help with drill calibration, one of our service team members will gladly come by and assist you; however, please give them a couple days notice as they are very busy this time of year. Secondly, if you are more of the independent type, we have several tools available on our website ( that walk you step-by-step through drill calibration so you can do it yourself. On our website you’ll find a spreadsheet that provides calculations based on your equipment and seed size and includes corresponding videos for proper calibration. Additionally, we have an iPhone App. With features like a seeding rate calculator, weather, rice industry news, hybrid management guidelines, and a grain drill calibration tool with video assistance. The RiceTec Toolbox App is available free in the App Store to anyone with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. It can also be used to calibrate your grain drill for crops other than rice.
   As always, should you need any assistance, please contact your local Technical Services Representative or contact our Customer Service Line at 877.580.7423. We look forward to working with our customers again in 2014 and hope for a successful year for all!∆
   STEWART RUNSICK: Technical Services, RiceTec, Inc.
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