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THE MOJO WIRE: Why the Mojo Wire?

  • 3x to 5x pressure of standard Keeton
  • Ensures fast, uniform germination
  • Large payback potential, especially in resilient no-till soils
  • Quick fix for limp, aging Keeton firmers

mojo wire

mojo wire
In North America, most seeders were never really engineered to plant no-till. For instance, the original press wheels on all planters (and so-called “no-till” drills) were designed for the loose, dry conditions found in tilled seedbeds—they were intended to pack the soil from the surface all the way down to the seed, which was easily done in loose tilled soil. Substantial packing was desirable to help the seed draw moisture from beneath, since the soil near the surface had dried with tillage.

In no-till (zero-till), this concept is terribly flawed. No-till soils are resilient (structured) and don’t readily fall back into the furrow. Plus, an enormous amount of pressure must be applied at the surface to do any seed firming at all down in the bottom of the furrow. In no-till, to get even 5 lbs of pressure at seed depth might require 50 to 150 lbs. applied to the press wheel at the surface, and even then it might not be enough and certainly won’t be consistent at seed depth. And you are severely packing the sidewalls and soil over the seed (thru which it must push) in attempting to do something down at the bottom of the furrow. Why not just apply a precise amount of pressure exactly where it’s needed—at the bottom of the furrow?

In the early ’90s, this is exactly what the introduction of the Keeton seed firmer was supposed to do. However, the Keetons applied only a few ounces to (at most) ~ 1.5 lbs of pressure on the business end of the Keeton. In many cases, that wasn’t enough force. (For comparison, the in-furrow press wheels of the JD 50, 60, & 90-series single-disc drills, as well as CNH’s SDX drill, supply up to 20 lbs or more of pressure on a similar surface area down at the bottom of the ‘v.’) The situation is made worse by the fact that the nylon material used to mold the Keetons loses its integrity (springiness) after awhile (apparently due to absorbing moisture, ‘cold flowing,’ and UV degradation).

To remedy the situation, Exapta introduced the Mojo Wire stiffener in 2006, which supplies up to 5 times the pressure to the standard Keeton. In our testing and our customers' experience, we've simply been amazed at how much better the germination consistency was—both in terms of higher percentages of seeds emerging, and in uniformity of timing of emergence.

Another noticeable improvement was in the self-cleaning action of the Keeton against the furrow sidewalls. We’d previously noticed that Keetons became more prone to mud buildup on the sides of the tail when they had little down-force, either due to age and fatigue, or due to loose settings on the tensioning screw. Adding the Mojo Wire has improved this self-cleaning action, at least in low-disturbance no-till. (Note that coulters or CIH reduced-inner-diameter gauge tires increase the soil disturbance ahead of the Keeton, which worsens the mud accumulation on the firmer and hinders the self-cleaning action of the firmer against the furrow sidewalls.)

Mojo Wires fit most planter Keetons. Not recommended for LP (low-profile) tails.

 

Note: One drawback to increasing the pressure on the Keeton is that the tail wears more quickly. If you put lots of acres on your planter in a season, expect to completely wear out a set of Keetons with the Mojo Wire installed. But at least the Keeton is doing its job. If you’ve always struggled to get high emergence percentages with your planter in no-till, inadequate seed firming might be the culprit. Seeds should be ‘locked into’ the bottom of the furrow—securely embedded in it. You might be pleasantly surprised at how well your crops emerge with the Mojo Wire—you owe it to yourself to try them.

 

 

Now Available:
Mojo Wires for drill Keetons

mojo for drill Keeton

Exapta expands its highly successful Mojo Wire product line to include all current Keeton models for grain drills.  Most grain drills lack an OEM in-furrow seed-firming (“seed-lock”) mechanism to apply a small but consistent pressure directly onto the seed at the seed’s location in the bottom of the furrow.  Instead, these drills use trailing packer or ‘press’ wheels that run on the soil surface to try to compress all the soil above the seed to obtain sufficient seed/soil contact.  These are problematic in the more structured soils of no-till cropping, and often result in subpar emergence if it doesn’t rain right away.  Hence, many farmers install Keetons on these drills, which help, but often don’t have enough pressure.  Exapta’s Mojo Wire solves this problem by applying 2x to 5x more pressure onto the Keeton.

We’ve had a number of requests for these, and some farmers and dealers were modifying our Mojos for planters to fit the drill Keetons. We thought we’d make it easier for them. For the drills that lack a firming device running in the seed furrow, these are a big plus in getting good emergence.

The Mojo Wires fit all of the 2-piece Keeton models (the only style sold in recent years) are now available through Exapta for $8 ea. This style of Keeton & Mojo will fit most Sunflower, Crustbuster, Great Plains, Marliss and certain other double-disc drills. These also fit the new Case-IH Precision 500 / New Holland P2800-series drills using a steel bracket ($10.75) available only from Exapta.


 



In the Fall of 2011, Precision Planting introduced Keeton tails that are 'WaveVision-ready' for the bracket-mounted Keetons (Universal, and Scraper-Mount). It is a barely noticeable change in the bend of the narrow part of the tail, but this significantly affects the integration of the Mojo Wire.

 Keeton: Wave is the lower tail

If you purchased bracket-style Keeton tails during the first half of 2011 or prior, they are non-Wave. Afterwards, they could be Wave or non-Wave, depending on the supplier (Precision Planting & most dealerships will continue to sell non-Wave inventory during 2012 and beyond; however, Exapta discontinued selling non-Wave tails in Nov. 2011).  Other than trusting your packing slip, the only sure way to differentiate these tails is by looking closely at the curvature—see photo: The uppermost tail is non-Wave with its continuous curvature of the narrow part going up to the 'thumb,' while the lower tail is Wave-ready and has a compound curvature ('double bend') and is flatter in general going towards the 'thumb.'
 K1446 mojo wire

Our K.1446 Mojo Wire is part of the K.211 kit and is specifically designed to conform to the curvature of the Wave tails. Overall, it's somewhat 'flatter' and has a small secondary bend ahead of the hoop.  
 
Keetons that strap directly onto the seed tube ("originals" —without a separate bracket attaching to the studs for the opener blades) remain unchanged, although they aren't compatible with WaveVision—they get in the way of the sensor mounting. For the original seed-tube mounted Keetons, see our K.100 Mojo Wire kit.

K1445 mojo wire on keeton
The L-bends at the top keep the Mojo Wire in place no matter how much flexing of the tail on Universal Keetons (dry or dual-tube, Wave or pre-Wave). These Mojo Wires are now coated with textured, ultra-durable paint.

 

K200 Mojo on Universal wrap-around bracket
K200 Mojo on Universal wrap-around bracket


K200 Mojo on Universal Dry Tail
K200 Mojo on Universal Dry Tail


K100 Mojo Wire on original Keeton (straps to seed tube)
K100 Mojo Wire on original Keeton (straps to seed tube)

milo failed with inadequate pressure

This stand of milo failed because of inadequate pressure on the Keetons. Our Mojo Wire supplies up to 5X the pressure of a new Keeton. Seed-to-soil is too crucial to leave to chance. Do it right and sleep easier!