Downforce is needed to get the planter’s double disc openers to the desired planter depth. Performance varies among the different downforce systems available, Blunier says. “For example, pneumatic systems provide responsive, consistent pressure and are easy to adjust,” he says. “Spring systems can be less consistent in applying pressure. Some of the side spring options exert a more consistent force through a wider range of motion but may not apply enough force in certain field conditions.”

Reduced inner diameter (RID) gauge wheel tires, designed to reduce sidewall compaction, can be effective on row units that have a seed boot or shoe to hold loose sidewall soil away from the seed. They also can work with standard double disc opener systems in damp soils but may lack the pressure needed in dry soils to hold the sidewall for maximum yield.