If you're planting with a 12-row planter, manually readjusting operating depth of the residue wheels in minimum tillage conditions may be an inconvenience. With a 48-row planter, it becomes a nightmare.
One solution is to equip the planter with air adjust units, with a cylinder on each row. The air-adjust system allows the operator to raise or lower the residue wheels from the cab as conditions change.
Some may be set up with residue wheels and a coulter. Others may just have residue wheels or just a coulter. The coulter is not affected in this scenario. The from-the-cab adjustment involving air pressure is strictly to raise or lower the residue wheels.
In some situations you may not need to run them but barely deep enough to scrape the soil to make a good plant bed. In other cases you may want to move more residue to the side of the row.
The system allows you to make those adjustments as you see fit, without crawling off the tractor and changing each one with wrenches – a time-consuming affair which you may be more likely to skip rather than to try to fine-tune the adjustment as conditions change.
One farmer we found who has them is happy with the option – he doesn't like the planter sitting still if he would have to do it by hand on each rows.
Other systems are available which use electronics to raise or lower the residue wheels. One question to ask yourself before investing in either type of system is if your tractor has the capacity to run the system.
Especially if you're using electrical systems, the ability of the tractor to power it may max out unless you install a new alternator of make adjustments to the existing one.