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Preparing your planter for spring

Preparing your planter for spring

Taking a proactive approach can help save you time later on

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

With spring approaching, producers may be thinking about getting their planters ready now to save themselves some time during planting.

Early preparations “can let the operator know that everything is operating correctly even before they get into the field,” CJ Parker, a crop production specialist with Case IH, told Farms.com. “The last thing a farmer wants is to have to stop in the middle of planting to make any repairs.”

The planter has multiple components an operator may want to check when taking it out of winter storage.

One of the first items that should be inspected are the disc openers.

If disc blades are showing signs of wear, they should be changed, Parker said.

“At half an inch of wear, they need to be replaced,” he said. “A farmer with maybe a quarter inch of wear and a few thousand acres to plant might be fine for the first half of them so it’s better to replace them early, especially with the way the springs have been.”

Producers should also give some attention to seed tubes.

A visual inspection to ensure they are free of cracks and wear can help reduce any future downtime, Parker said.

“You want everything to be in good shape and line up with the meter,” he said. “Getting into the meter itself, regardless of the kind of meter you have, you want to consult with your operator’s manual or dealer to make sure everything is in top shape before heading to the field.”

If farmers are using their planters to apply liquid fertilizer, they should check the system to ensure it’s free of cracks.

“I always recommend running water through the system first,” Parker said. “That way if there is a crack, you’re only dribbling water onto the toolbar and its components instead of fertilizer, which can eat away at that kind of stuff and can cause issues down the road.”

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