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Planting Prep

Useful Information on How to Maximize Profit Potential with Planting Equipment

This guide will assist you in identifying how to properly adjust and maintain planting equipment. Safety, Maintenance, Row Unit Inspection, Seed Meter Care and Adjustment (all covered below) are critical to achieve optimum performance in the field with your row crop planter.

For a more in-depth version of this planting guide, please click here.

Step 1. Safety

  1. Be safe — Never clean, lubricate, or adjust a machine that is in motion. Always install lockup mechanisms before servicing any equipment.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the machine and how to adjust it as field conditions change.
  3. Be in control — Haste makes waste. Make decisions wisely. Your life depends on it.
  4. Remember that accidents can be prevented.

Step 2. Maintenance.

  1. Be safe — Never clean, lubricate, or adjust a machine that is in motion. Always install lockup mechanisms before servicing any equipment.
  2. Tire pressure — Make sure that the tires are adequately inflated per the recommendations in the operator’s manual.

Step 3. Planter Row Unit Inspection

  1. Parallel linkage arms — Worn parts can cause the row unit to operate in an unbalanced manner, affecting seed placement, closing wheel spring pressure, and row unit spring pressure.
  2. Seed tubes — Worn or broken seed tubes can affect seed depth and spacing.
  3. Disc opener blades — Worn, cracked, or warped blades will affect seed placement, depth, and spacing. Consult the operator’s manual for proper adjustment procedures.
  4. Depth control wheels — Worn or improperly adjusted wheels will allow soil to fall into the seed furrow ahead of the seed causing uneven seed depth.
  5. Seed boxes — A misaligned seed box will cause the meter to drop seed into the seed tube.
  6. Closing wheels — It is important that the seed is covered with soil that is free of air pockets and compaction.

Step 4. Seed Meter Care

  1. Finger Pick-Up Seed Meter
    1. Inspect meter for worn, damaged, or missing parts.
    2. Disassemble and check bearing.
    3. Check finger assembly for rust, wear, or broken parts.
    4. Check carrier plate for rust and wear.
    5. Replace worn or broken parts!
    6. Meters should be stored in a heated area to prevent rust.
  2. Vacuum/Air Seed Meter
    1. Disassemble and inspect meter for broken, worn, or missing parts.
    2. Inspect and reinstall and/or replace seals.
    3. Re-install plastic meter parts.
    4. Install new brush.
    5. Never store seed disks in row unit.
    6. Seed discs should be cleaned in warm water and soap after planting. Follow cleaning recommendations as outlined in the operator’s manual before storing.
    7. Meters should be stored in a heated area.
  3. Chains and idlers — Inspect chains and rollers for rust, wear, and damage. Lubricate with chain lube dry film lubricant, as petroleum-based lubricants attract dirt and facilitate wear.
  4. Drive shafts, bearings, and transmissions – Bent or misaligned shafts or rough, worn bearings will affect seed meter operation and seed spacing.

Step 5. Adjustment.

In order to make planting a success, it is imperative to understand the importance of planter adjustment. A properly adjusted planter allows you to be in control. There are many items on a planter that must be checked for working condition and proper settings for field conditions. Adjustments help achieve precise seed depth and consistent spacing for optimum yields. The operator is responsible for inspecting the planter and knowing how to adjust the planter to adapt to different seeds, soil conditions, and tillage methods, and changes in weather.

  1. Planter frame — An improperly adjusted planter frame is the leading reason for uneven seed depth, spacing, and emergence, resulting in less than ideal plant population and yield.
  2. Seed depth — Seed placement is an important management decision. Properly positioning the seed is critical to developing healthy roots, minimizing stress, and producing yield. Seeds planted shallow have problems with root development, and seeds planted deep have problems with emergence. It is important to understand how to make the correct adjustments to place the seed exactly at the precise depth in the soil.

 

planter correctly leveled 

 

planter not correctly leveled 

 

planter not correctly leveled 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PO Box 358 109 S. McDonough
Colchester, Illinois 62326 USA
309.776.4111
800.447.5777 (toll free)
309.776.3222 (fax)

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