Large center-fill planters are now the preferred planting tools for many growers. Driven by the need to plant (often thousands of acres) during narrow windows of opportunity, with the threat of wet weather always lurking, equipment manufacturers have responded by offering these massive machines. As many of you have experienced, there’s a big downside to these huge planters: weight. The bulk of a center-fill planter’s weight—the seed, the frame, and often a large liquid fertilizer tank—is centered over the transport tires. And this can have a serious impact on your yields.
Planter Tires Sourced from Semis: Great for the Road. Tough on Your Soil.
Stock tires on center-fill planters are sourced from the semi truck world. These tires are a natural choice because they can carry an enormous load. The downside to these tires is what the industry refers to as “pinch row compaction.” The pinch rows are the center six rows beside the transport tires and beneath the center of the planter. On a 24-row planter, this means that 25 percent of the rows are pinch rows. Compaction from the weight of the machine cuts yields by making it harder for oxygen and water to reach plant roots. Pinch rows often curb root development as well. A smaller root system means less nutrients transported to the plant and lower yields for you.
Relieving Pressure with VF Technology
A VF-category tire (very increased flexion) can carry the same load as the semi tires at a much lower air pressure—at least 40% lower! These tires also feature a soil-friendly, wider tread arc for a larger contact area. Both these attributes result in less pressure per square inch on those critical middle pinch rows of the planter.
Expand Your Footprint with Alliance 381 Agriflex+ Planter Tires
If you’re looking to combat pinch-row compaction this spring, we at NTS Tire Supply highly recommend Alliance’s 381 Agriflex+ tire. This VF445/50R22.5 tire will fit onto your planter’s stock rims. Instead of semi tires that require 70–120 PSI to support your planter’s weight, the 381 Agriflex+ VF tire can support your planter’s weight on just 15–30 PSI at 25 mph*. This means a larger footprint and less pinch-row compaction.
*Actual recommended tire inflation pressure will vary based on the load it is carrying. The tire pressures given in the graphic above are based on a transport weight of 5,400 pounds per tire at 25 mph. Always refer to the tire manufacturer for the recommended tire inflation pressure.
381 Agriflex+ Highlights
- The Agriflex+ series tires are Alliance’s premium VF (very increased flexion) steel-belted radial tires.
- The 381 Agriflex+ features rounded shoulders which results in less compaction next to corn and soybean rows when compared to square-shouldered heavy-duty truck tires.
- Travel up to 40 mph with it’s D speed rating.
- The 381 Agriflex+ comes with a 7-year warranty.
- It fits any planter with 445/50R22.5 tires (you can use your existing wheels). Common planter models that use this tire size include John Deere DB series planters, Case IH 1260 and 1265 series planters, and Kinze 3800 series planters.
As we approach the 2020 planting season, we at NTS Tire Supply believe the Alliance 381 Agriflex+ to be the top tire choice for large center-fill planters. Firestone has a similar product in the works, but it is uncertain whether or not it will be available on time for planting this spring. As March 1, 2020, the Alliance 381 Agriflex+ is your only VF tire option in this size.
Find a Solution to Your Pinch-Row Problems
Compaction is a major concern for growers which is why NTS Tire Supply offers you a range of products to fight pinch-row compaction on both your tractor and planter. From VF tires to Goodyear LSW super singles, and from central tire inflation systems to tracks, we can help you plant with the least amount of yield-robbing compaction as possible. Give us a call at (888) 787-3559 or drop us a line to inquire about the Alliance 381 Agriflex+ planter tire and other compaction-fighting solutions for your planter or planting tractor this spring.