While some folks have already jumped the gun on the 2012 planting season, still others are eagerly pawing at the gate, just waiting for a few more days to tick off the calendar.
For those of you who are doing those last-minute preparations, the folks at Kinze Manufacturing offer some excellent planter maintenance tips to get you off on the right foot. Here are the highlights:
- Consistent planter performance starts with a planter that is in good mechanical condition. Make a close inspection of the soil engaging components on the row units. Badly worn parts must be replaced or planter efficiency will be impaired.
- Check the wear on disc blades and replace 15-inch blades when they are worn to 14.5 inches in diameter. Inspect the disc blade contact too.
- Take a look at the inner scraper to be sure it protects the seed tube.
- When inspecting gauge wheels, check for light contact of the tire to blade in the operating position.
- The closing wheels must be centered over the seed trench.
- Adjust the hitch height so the tongue runs parallel to the ground when the planter is in planting position.
- Do not forget other planter attachments that contribute to uniform seed placement.
And perhaps the best advice: “Always confirm what you ‘think’ is happening with a full field check. It is not enough to just dig a few seeds up behind the planter…Take the time to prove it to yourself that the job is getting done right,” says Phil Jennings, Kinze Manufacturing Service Manager. “The extra 15 minutes is an inexpensive insurance policy. Dirt is the real test.”
So what’s your planter inspection routine?