Planting season is getting started for farmers across the U.S. and it’s time to bring the planters out of storage and get them ready for the fields. Remember you only plant a crop once. There are no do-overs in planting. Here are some maintenance tips to get your planter ready this season.
- Avoid electrical issues with your planter by making sure all of the software is up to date. This will help keep monitors and controllers communicating.
- Make sure your planter is leveled. Adjust the hitch height up or down to level the main toolbar (should be 20” from bottom of frame to planting surface). When planters tip down, coulters run too deep and closing wheels run too shallow.
- Make sure wiring harnesses are secure and free from pinching which can help eliminate electrical issues.
- Check disc openers. Make sure they aren’t worn out and that they open and place the seed where you want it to go. If it’s a no-till situation, look at the trash sweeps to make sure the disc opener is clear.
- Take care of those seed meters. Always go through each planter row unit to clean, adjust and set seed meters.
- Inspect seed tubes. Look for wear at the bottom. If the tubes have a small dog ear flap on the left side of the seed tube, they need to be replaced.
- Setting the down pressure to get the right seed depth for soil types and conditions can be critical for preparing a seed trench that yields good germination and emergence. Do not depend on last year’s settings, always adjust to current conditions.
- Inspect the closing wheels. Do they close the trench and create uniform seed firming?
- Inspect your planter from ground level. That’s right get out of the cab and check the soil to make sure seed is being planted according to the set depth and spacing and look to see how many seeds are in the trench.
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