Photo to the left is a runner or shoe type of opener. The runner opener is the type of opener found on JD model 1250's. This type of opener is older than the models 7000 and 7100. They will work in tilled fields only. Not made for notill situations. Depth is controlled by a guage wheel that follows behind the opener and covering blades. This guage wheel also packs and firms the soil over the seed trench creating the much needed seed to soil contact. If you are tilling your fields already and want to save some money, than this type of opener is the way to go. Although a little older, they still work very well as long as the soil is tilled. Pictured is a shoe or runner opener with optional furrow opener and blade coverers. The shoe is the long black horizontal piece. The guage wheel is not in the picture.
The truvee disc opener is whats used on the current JD models and the models 7000 and 7100 planters. They consists of a pair of discs positioned side by side to create a "V" shape seed trench. They are placed between two guage wheels to keep the depth consistant. The wheels are adjustable. After creating the trench and dropping the seeds, a pair of closing wheels crumble the sides of the trench thus covering the seeds with soil creating good seed to soil contact. This type of opener also works well in notill situations. In very heavy residue or compacted soils, a coulter could be added in front of the unit.
runner or shoe type opener
truvee disc opener, positioned between yellow guage wheels