Some Quick Wins Before Planting
You’ve been there before. Everything is “ready to go” on your planter, but you start planting and realize something just isn’t quite right. Here are two things we’ve seen that have helped countless farmers have confidence from their very first pass in the field.
Level the Planter
Check that your planter is level. We’re talking about the toolbar that the row-units are attached to, not the tongue of the planter. On some planter models, the tongue will be running uphill to get a level toolbar. If the front of the toolbar is lower than the back of the toolbar your row cleaners are going to be too aggressive and your seeding depth will be shallow. Also, your seed firmer and closing system will not have as much pressure on them and they won’t be able to do their jobs well.
The best place to check the levelness of your toolbar is in the field, with the planter full of seed, and in motion. If your toolbar isn’t running level then you need to raise the hitch on your tractor to get your planter toolbar leveled out.
If your planter’s a 3-point mounted planter you’re going to want to adjust the lift arms to get the quick hitch leveled before hooking up the planter. If you have draft control on your tractor, you’re going to want to turn that down or off before planting to make sure it’s not trying to adjust the height and the levelness of the planter when you’re going through the field.
You can’t adjust for what you can’t see. Here are a few of the metrics that you’ll want visible as you plant so that you can make adjustments to have a properly performing planter.
Population, singulation, and spacing make sure that the planter is dropping the correct number of seeds, one at a time, and that they’re being spaced correctly once they enter the trench.
Good ride also helps determine if row-unit bounce is affecting seed spacing
Downforce helps you know if there is enough weight being applied to the row-unit to keep your planter consistently at the depth that you chose with your depth adjustment lever. It also helps understand the amount of extra weight that is being applied to the soil.
Furrow moisture and soil temperature tell you about the environment that the seed is going into and whether or not it’s the optimum environment for good emergence of your seed.
Being able to see each of these metrics gives you the confidence to know that each acre you plant is going to end with the best possible emergence and best possible seed placement. Let the 20|20 help you monitor, control, and diagnose your field conditions as you put in your next crop.
A Premier Precision Planting Dealer is your partner to help you achieve a picket fence stand this spring and steer clear of the regret that comes from avoidable yield loss caused by lack of maintenance. Find your local Precision Planting Premier Dealer at planterexpert.com.
To watch videos of all recommended annual maintenance checks, visit precisionplanting.com/maintenance.
The Planter Maintenance series is brought to you by Precision Planting.
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