Get Your No-Till Planter In Good Shape For Spring

Here’s a checklist to help ensure that nothing critical to effective, efficient planting is missed before you head into the fields

Given the importance of uniform emergence and a good plant stand, fine-tuning your no-till planter should be a must before spring arrives. Dave Moeller, an experienced no-tiller and ag consultant who operates Moeller Ag service in Keota, Iowa, offers the following guidelines for getting your planter ready.

  • The planter must be level to work properly. Start by raising or lowering the hitch, if necessary. Then check the parallel linkages with the planter in the operating position to make certain they are parallel, and adjust them if necessary. While looking at the parallel linkages, check the bushings. All row units should hang at the same height, Moeller says. He cautions that some no-till planters will need a level set on the main frame rather than the tongue to confirm that it’s on a horizontal plane.

  • Ensure that your row cleaners are in good working order, especially if no-tilling into corn-on-corn residue. Down pressure springs might need to be added to floating row cleaners to keep them from riding over corn residue. The side treader wheels and/or depth bands might have to be removed from floating row cleaners to make them more aggressive in the severe conditions of corn-on-corn residue.

  • Check the disc openers for wear. New discs are typically 15 inches in diameter. Any disc with a diameter of 14 1/2 inches or less should be replaced. Also, check the disc opener contact. The blade contact should be 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches when using the thick disc opener blades…

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