Early maintenance can help farmers spend more time in their fields
By Diego Flammini
Farmers will soon be taking their sprayers out of storage for the 2019 growing season.
By completing a thorough equipment inspection, farmers can ensure they spend more time in the field and less time performing maintenance, said Mark Burns, an application equipment marketing manager with Case IH.
“The first thing farmers might want to do is make sure any maintenance that wasn’t done in the fall is done now,” he told Farms.com. “That includes things like oil changes, replacing filters and servicing the hydraulic reservoir.”
From there, producers may want to check that rate controllers are set up properly.
“Growers will probably consider the rates they plan to apply, tank mixes and things like that,” Burns said. “They should also make sure all the data they need is available to them when they’re ready.”
Calibrating the sprayer to match what the rate controller reads is important, too.
“There can be a pretty big disparity between ground covered versus what’s been applied,” Burns said. “Ensuring all of that is calibrated properly can help farmers get accurate readings.”
Before running crop protection products through the sprayer, farmers can check for leaks using water.
“The last thing you want is a product leak,” Burns said. “That goes from the product tank all the way to the nozzle. You don’t want anything seeping out from any hose connections.
“Keeping with that, perform a catch test to make sure the output is matching what the control system thinks it’s applying.
Another factor that operators often overlook is the functionality of nozzle tips, Burns said.
“When farmers buy a new sprayer or take one out of storage, they just take the tips they used last year and put them on,” he said. “Tips are a wear item and certain products can be more abrasive than others. We want to make sure we’re getting proper patterns across all the tips.”