Planter Adjustment Guide

A properly adjusted planter is key to a successful planting season. However, planter adjustment can be a detailed and time-consuming process. To help you make sure your planter is 100% ready to go, Yetter Farm Equipment has put together this quick guide to proper planter adjustment.

 

Before you head out into the field, check the following items on your planter:

  1. Planter frame – An improperly adjusted planter frame is the leading reason for uneven seed depth, spacing, and emergence. Make sure the planter frame height is adjusted to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Also make sure that the planter is level.
  2. Seed depth – Seed placement is an important management decision. Properly positioning the seed is critical to developing healthy roots, minimizing stress, and producing high yields. To make sure your planter is placing seeds at the correct depth, check:
    • Gauge wheel depth control – Make sure the mechanism is working and that you can change the planting depth easily to adapt to changes in soil conditions.
    • Row unit down pressure – Use only enough force to hold the disc opener blades at the desired planting depth. Excessive pressure will cause the seed to be planted too deeply into the soil. Inadequate pressure will cause the seed to be planted too shallow. Check for broken or missing springs and replace as necessary.
    • Visual depth check – Visually check the depth of seed placement. This can be done easily by locking up the closing wheels so the seed is visible and not covered with soil. Seed spacing and population can also be measured at this time.
    • Gauge wheels – Adjust the gauge wheels so they are barely touching the disc blades. Replace wheels that are worn. Replace arms or bushings that allow the wheel to pull away from the disc blades.

 

NOTE: Slow down. Planting too fast will require too much down pressure, which causes seed furrow problems.

 

  1. Closing wheels – Improperly adjusted closing wheels could cause sidewall compaction and uneven stands. Adjust the closing wheels so they are an equal distance from the center of the seed furrow. The closing wheel arm and pivot bushings or eccentric bushings must be in good condition to prevent the closing wheels from moving from side to side. If the wheel wobbles, replace it or the bearing as needed. Adjust the spring pressure on the closing wheels according to soil type and moisture. Correctly adjusted spring pressure should eliminate air pockets in the seed furrow and cover the seed without creating compaction on top of the seed.

 

For an in-depth version of this guide, please click here.