The first factor to consider when buying a planter is size. Blunier says most buyers are looking to upsize to cover additional acres within the same 10-day window typically available in the spring to plant corn. Sizes today range anywhere from 6 to 48 rows. “A good rule of thumb when sizing is to assume each row can cover 100 acres per season,” Blunier says. “So a 12-row planter can cover 1,200 acres in the 10 days allotted for planting corn.”

Blunier outlines two alternatives to upsizing. One is to increase planting speeds without compromising seed spacing accuracy by using a planter monitor to check for skips and doubles. The second is to invest in a bulk-seed-handling system in place of individual hopper boxes to cut time spent filling the planter with seed, leaving you more time to plant.