Planter Tune-up Tips
Ten things to check before planting season:
Test row unit ride.
Worn bushings increase row unit bounce, increasing seed bounce. Make sure bushings are tight for a good ride in the field.
Check your meter drive system
Check every chain and hex shaft. Kinked chains cause shock and vibration in the meter. Start with fresh, lubricated chains and check them daily. Ensure your hex shafts are aligned properly.
Level the planter.
Check hitch height. Make sure the planter's toolbar is level (vertically) or running slightly up hill. Your planter toolbar should be 22'' off the ground.
Test your meters.
Take your meters to a Precision Planting dealer to run them on a MeterMax test stand. You should be getting 98% or better accuracy from your meters, but typical meters run at only 92 - 97%. Why settle? Find a dealer here
Create a proper seed trench "V".
V is for "victory" in the seed trench, and you'll need it for uniform emergence across the field.
Plan for successful seed delivery.
Inspect seed tubes for wear at the bottom. Frequently, the tubes will have a small dog ear flap on the left side of the seed tube. Replace them.
Ensure seed to soil contact.
Uniform germination adds an average of six bushels an acre - use Keeton Seed Firmers to improve depth control and seed to soil contact.
Test gauge wheels.
As soon as gauge wheels stop wiping the opening disc cleanly, they should be adjusted or replaced.
Analyze closing wheel alignment.
With your planter setting on concrete, pull ahead about five feet. The mark left should run right down the centerline between the closing wheels - if it's too close to the mark, adjust them.
Prepare for spring conditions.
Any planter can benefit from well-adjusted row cleaners. Make sure row cleaners gently whisk away residue - you don't want to move any soil, just residue.
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