What Attachments Do I Need For No-till Planting?
Planter Attachment Recommendations For No-till

No-till planting may require attachments to optimize machine performance.  Many factors will affect what attachments are necessary for no-till.  Some attachments work better in certain regions, so always consult your John Deere dealer about which attachments work best in your area.  Below are some agronomic factors to consider and attachments to address each of them.

Solution Steps

Consider Your Soil Conditions

Closing Wheels - Rubber tire closing wheels typically work well in no-till.  The closing wheels can be staggered to prevent residue buildup between the wheels.  Soils which are very difficult to close may benefit from cast iron closing wheels.  Care should be taken not to use the cast closing wheels in wet soil conditions as compaction can occur with too much downforce.  (Cast closing wheels are not recommended for conventional-till.)

Coulters - Soils which are difficult to penetrate will benefit from unit mounted coulters.  The coulters loosen the soil in front to the Tru-Vee™ double disk openers, providing longer wear and bearing life on the opener blades.  Coulters are highly recommended in hard, dry soils. Many blade options are available:

  • 25-wave (0.63") makes a fine tilth approx 7/8" wide and works well in wet and spongy soils that can be tight and difficult to close.   This is an excellent all-around choice for all soil types and ground speeds, the best choice for wet field conditions.
  • 13-wave (0.7") aggressively tills a 1" band at speeds under 6 mph.  This blade gives more aggressive soil disruption at slower speeds.  It fractures soil more and opens a wider slot of fine tilth, but may throw soil in wet clay.
  • 8-wave (1") offers less soil disturbance and a 1 1/4" wide tilth at speeds above 5 1/2 mph.  In wet clay, some soil throw may occur.
  • Bubble coulter blade opens a 1" slot.  It provides excellent soil penetration and residue cutting, but is only recommended in sandy or very dry soils.  Not recommended in heavier loam or clay soils as sidewall compaction can occur.

Conservation Furrowers - If moving loose & dry soil is necessary to get to moisture, conservation furrowers with cutout blade provide excellent results.  Furrowers can move residue and dirt clods with fully adjustable blade depth and blade angle.  Not compatible with coulters.

Downforce Systems - The type of soil also affects the amount of downforce needed.  Adjustable heavy-duty downforce offers simple, at the row unit adjustment of 0, 125, 250, or 400 pounds of downforce per row.  The pneumatic downforce system offers infinitely adjustable downforce from 0-400 pounds.  The compressor can be mounted in the tractor cab for on-the-go adjustment.  The air springs used in this system provide less row unit bounce and more consistent downforce across the entire range of row unit travel vs. mechanical springs.  

Frame Weight - When more soil engaging components are added to the row unit, more downforce will be required.  Always remember: the row unit transfers the weight from the planter frame to the row unit.  Having enough frame weight is important for proper row unit operation.  Ballast attachments are available on some machines to provide additional weight. 

Consider the Type of Residue

Coulters - Coulters can assist in loosening soil as well as cutting residue.  While the Tru-Vee opener blades provide good residue cutting in many conditions, coulters can provide superior cutting action in wet, spongy residue and tough residue like corn stalks and double crop wheat stubble.

Gauge Wheels - High amounts of residue can provide challenges in properly gauging seed depth.  The walking gauge wheel option allows the gauge wheels to walk over root balls, cloddy soils and residue with lessened impact on depth control than rigid gauge wheels.

Residue Shields - The row unit residue shield attachment provides protection from residue becoming lodged in chains and idlers.  For early MaxEmerge™ Plus planters, slide type chain idlers are available that reduce the chance of chains coming off the sprockets.

Conservation Furrowers - If moving soil and residue is necessary, conservation furrowers (with cutout blade) helps the opener plant to moist soil.  Not compatible with coulters.

Row Cleaners - Row cleaners can be added to sweep residue from the row to warm the seed trench.  Row cleaners also prevent hair-pinning which occurs when residue is pinched in the seed trench, next to the seed, robbing critical moisture.  Row cleaners are offered in two configurations:

  1. Stand-alone Row Cleaners
  2. Combination Coulter/Row Cleaner - Combines the residue clearing of a row cleaner with the soil loosening action of a unit mounted coulter.  (Some models require long parallel arms when frame mounted single disk fertilizer openers are used.)

Consider Your Fertilizer Application

If fertilizer application is necessary, choosing the right opener is very important for proper fertilizer placement.

Frame Mounted Single Disk Opener (with depth gauging wheel) - Our best no-till opener provides superior opener penetration and residue cutting ability.  Available for dry and liquid application.

Unit Mounted Coulter Injection System - Utilizes a 16" 50-flute coulter with injection nozzle to apply fertilizer.  A good choice for planters where frame mounted openers are not compatible.

Unit Mounted Double Disk Opener With Row Cleaner - Also an option for planters where frame mounted openers are not compatible.  Not recommended in difficult to penetrate soils.

Affected Equipment
1530      1535   
1700      1710   
1720      1730   
1750      1760   
1760NT      1770   
1770NT      1780   

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