seeding headlands last

How Seeding Headlands Last Will Improve Your Profitability

Which do you seed first, headlands or interior rows?

If you answered headlands, you’re not alone. Many farmers seed headlands first simply because it’s the way they’ve always done it or because their current in-cab section control technology tells them to start there. However, this practice tends to contribute to damage to seedbeds and compaction, reducing yield in those areas. 

When headlands are seeded first, the seeded land is then travelled over as the interior rows of the field are seeded, when equipment is turned and repositioned to continue down the next row. The weight of equipment tires in these areas causes compaction and an avoidable disruption of the seedbed. 

seedbed disruption

Seedbed disruption can cause seed and/or seedling mortality, delayed emergence, uneven stands, and poor root development. The result: seedbed disruption can result in yield loss, reducing per acre profitability.

In 2017 and 2018, Cornell University studied 2,648 cornfields, representing around 49,000 acres. The study found that yield loss in headlands was between 14 and 16%, some of which was attributed to compaction. The study also found that farmers could recover as much as 42% of their lost yield just by improving the way they manage and work headlands.

Reap the Benefits of Seeding Headlands Last, Interior Rows First

Launch Pad offers a straightforward solution for better headland management. 

With path planning and the correct machine guidance and section control technology, adjusting your operations to seed the interior of your fields first is simple and straightforward – and the change will pay off.

Using Launch Pad, operators create their path plan(s) before stepping into the cab, export the plans (see image below), and then upload to their monitor. Launch Pad offers the option to select the inner path first, or last. 

complete track plan export

Benefits of executing in-field seeding operations using Launch Pad in this way include:

  • Reduced in-field decision making 
  • Reduced seedbed disruption
  • Improved yields in headlands

Ready to give Launch Pad a try? Get started today.

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