The 25-year no-till veteran has modified his planter to help assure excellent seedbed and even crop emergence.

“The last time I bought a new corn planter, the first thing I did was rip it apart,” he says. “It’s kind of like racing. Are you going to race with a stock car, or a modified car to get the most out of it?”

To produce the best no-till seedbed, he uses spiked Yetter row cleaners ahead of planter units, as well as spiked closing wheels with square-link drag chains. Yetter  closing wheels, which run outside the trench wall, push and lightly firm soil into the seed trench.

“The better the seed-to-soil contact you have, the faster the seed can germinate, and the more uniform the germination,” says Wolfskill.

Even germination is critical for top yields, he says. “You have a germination window of 18 to 24 hours,” he says. “Plants that emerge outside that window are competition and don’t contribute to yield, so getting it right is important for maximum yield.”