What’s The Best Seed Firmer-Sensor?

What’s The Best Seed Firmer-Sensor?

Bill Lehmkuhl

It can be difficult to figure out whether your depth setting is correct or not, but with the help of Precision Planting’s SmartFirmer this job is easy.

SmartFirmer is one of the best seed firmer-sensors on the market and it can measure the amount of moisture available to the seed. This way you can adjust the depth correctly which will help you have a consistent crop stand.

The SmartFirmer has eyes on the side of it, making it easy to read the most important agronomic pieces of information while going through the seed trench.

This includes:

  • Organic matter
  • Residues
  • Uniform furrow
  • Moisture
  • Temperature

All of these things can be used during different aspects of the planting operation or in other aspects of the farming operation in the future.

Let’s take a closer look at the information that’s available to you when you use the SmartFirmer.

Organic matter sensing

As the SmartFirmer is running through the field, you’ll have the ability to change the seed rate on the planter as if you had a vDrive motor system installed.

On one side of the screen, you can put the organic matter on it, and on the other side you can put a population adjustment. So as your organic matter changes, and your planter goes across the field, your population will also automatically change along with it.

In a field, there are multiple yield environments, and one of the main things that cause this difference in environment is the organic matter in the soil.

The more organic matter in the soil the more water and nutrients it can provide to the seed.

So, by being able to map out the organic matter using the SmartFirmer, the easier it will be to get a clear picture of the variability in your fields.

We’ve found that we’ve had a much better representation of the soil through the SmartFirmer than any predetermined variable rate map done by a third-party system. So with this, we’ve been able to get a better ROI (return on investment).

Residue sensing

The next thing we have to look at is residue. The SmartFirmer can be used to pick up any debris or object that we can’t see that’s not supposed to be in the trench.

The SmartFirmer is your eyes in the trench. In-furrow crop residue has a lot of negative effects on seed germination but with the help of the SmartFirmer, you can measure the amount of residue in the furrow and adjust your row cleaners.

There are some instances when you can’t get all the residue out but in most cases, you definitely can. You can also adjust the setting on the go throughout the field.

Uniform furrows

Uniform furrows are our downforce control. So if you’ve got proper downforce control and proper weight then you’ll be able to create a true V trench.

If you don’t have this, the uniform furrow number will lower on the screen showing the variability which can lead to inconsistencies.

A consistent environment is essential for seed germination and plant growth.

The SmartFirmer is able to identify any irregularities along the furrow so that you can correct your row-unit performance.

Soil temperature

The last thing we’re going to look at is the soil temperature.

Seeds need to have the right temperature, otherwise, they won’t germinate. Temperature, however, can fluctuate depending on the soil type and the time of the day.

SmartFirmer shows you the temperatures in real-time. It tells you the exact temperature while you’re planting so you can make the right decisions for your seeds.


The SmartFirmer is definitely a must-have piece of equipment and it can help make your planting process a whole lot smoother.

If you have any questions regarding the SmartFirmer, please contact us today at Precision Agri Services, we’d love to help you find the right solution for your needs.

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