Planter University Additional Resources

Basics of Down Force

The Setting Planter Downforce video walks through active down force systems and how they work.

Fundamentals of Down Force


Down Force Directory
Setting Down Force

Closing Wheel Hold Up Bracket

Great tool to evaluate furrows when machine is at operating speed. Are we setting the soil structure and holding the furrow together at operating speed? 

Also a helpful tool for dialing in section control timing and seeing where seeds start or stop when entering or exiting planted areas.

ISU Planter University Closing Wheel Hold Up Bracket

Download a .DXF file (should be compatible with most CNC cutting machines to replicate this part at any fabrication shop).

Closing Wheel Holdup
Examples of closing wheel holdup on Case IH (left), John Deere (middle) and Kinze (right) planters.

Emergence Tracking

Tracking crop emergence is a great data source for field trials especially when combined with individual plant yields. Colored golf tees or colored stakes are a great way to track your emergence and then come back in the fall to hand harvest the plants to gather yield information.

Flag Test Kits also available from Precision Planting

Typical Flagged Emergence Check

Typical example of a flagged emergence check.


Example of flags in a field to track emergence.

Maintenance Checklists

Planter “Pre-Flight” Checklist

Precision Planting Maintenance Check List and Video Resources

Why maintaining equipment is important.


Key components of maintaining equipment.

Row Unit Depth Check Tools and Jigs

2x4 Jig

Build your own

2x4 jig


Set-N-Seed Depth Calibration Tool


Depth Calibration tool in use


Adjust Sway Blocks and Drawbar

Make sure your planter stays inline with the tractor. Check for excessive side to side movement in the tractor drawbar. Be sure 3pt sway blocks are set properly, 3pt should be centered with tractor and minimal side to side movement. In some cases you may need additional shims to get 3pt sway blocks adjusted properly.

  • John Deere 3pt sway block shims– JD Part# R205716
Sway blocks being used to adjust alignment.
Metal shim for alignment.

Helpful Tools for Spring

JD Hydraulic Line Labeling Kit

John Deere Part #AA78772

hydraulic line labels

Outback Wraps

Outback Wraps

Outback wraps shown on hoses.

Disk Blade Measuring Tool

John Deere Part #JDG11600

blade checker

Apple Farm Services Disk Blade Measuring Tool

Apple Farm Service

Apple Farm Services disk measuring tool.

Paint Scraper or Putty Knife

Allows faster digging for seed and better ability to get a clean side profile view of the planted seed.

Paint Scraper

Mini Hopper Extension

Handy for seed corn or small test trials

John Deere ProSeries Mini Hopper and Precision Planting vSet – John Deere Part# AA65292

John Deere Exact Emerge Mini Hopper Extension

Mini Hopper Extension

John Deere Exact Emerge Mini Hopper Extension - Rosenberg Industries LLC

John Deere Exact Emerge Mini Hopper Extension

Leaf Blower

Handy tool to keep around during planting to evaluate tillage and planting job quality below the soil surface.

Man with leaf blower.
leaf blower


Video Resources

Planting and Tillage Tools: Leafblower

Planter Metrics for Crop Scouting

Tips for Utilizing Planter Metrics

Checking Closing Wheel Alignment

Using Blocks to Check Planter Depth Settings

Setting Planter Downforce