A third decision is whether to go with a bulk-fill system or individual hopper boxes to deliver seed. “Bulk-fill planters that distribute seed to row units decrease load time and the amount of seed handling, which saves time during planting,” Blunier says. “However, if you need or want to split hybrids, plant plots or split the planter for refuge hybrids — or would have other reasons to segregate seed — a row unit with standard boxes may be a better option.”

Also, examine how weight is distributed with each system. If most of the load is being passed to the ground through the center tires, soil compaction on middle rows can result. “We have seen 60-bu. decreases in yield checks between the center and wing sections of planters due to center-section compaction,” he says. Look for planters that have a weight transfer system that can move weight from the center section to the wings or that use flotation tires.