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Tips For Pre-season John Deere Planter Maintenance

10 Tips for Pre-Season John Deere Planter Maintenance

Doing a better job of planting involves maintenance, adjustments, and good decisions by the planter operator.

If just one kernel of corn out of 12 doesn't emerge, it could mean a loss of over $12,000 on 500 acres.

Too much speed, worn chains and idlers, or poorly maintained seed meters can cause serious spacing deviations.

A delay in seed drop of 1/25 of a second can cause a seed to be 3 1/2 inches off proper spacing.

Think of the following items when it comes to maintaining and adjusting your planter for optimum performance this season.

10 Tips for Pre-Season John Deere Planter Maintenance


1) Drive Wheels - Tires should be checked for proper air pressure daily. Equal tire pressure keeps the tool bar level and parallel to the ground. This allows the coulters, disk openers, and closing wheels to run perpendicular to the ground rather than be tilted.

2) Chains and idlers need to be examined daily. Chains should be replaced annually. John Deere slide idlers can be turned 1/3 turn if worn. Watch chains and idlers for damage caused by stalks and trash in no-till application.

3) Drive shafts and bearings need to be properly lined up to insure smooth operation. Loosen bearing bolts and unhook drive chains to check proper alignment of drive shafts. A hydraulic orbit motor attached to a jack stand is an excellent method of turning drive shafts to check for proper alignment. Bent or miss-aligned shafts or rough or worn bearings will have an adverse affect on seed meter operation.

4) Testing has shown the 24 or 25 wave coulter performed better than the 8 or 13 wave in nearly all conditions. In wet or sticky conditions, the 2 and 13 waves can remove slabs of soil that can stick to the gauge wheels causing irregular depth control of the row units.

5) Planter markers need to be properly adjusted an maintained. Point blades out and adjust forward. Check bearings and mounts for wobble. Pivot pins and cables need to be replaced if worn. Bent marker arms or blades can lead to uneven row spacing. Wear points can be covered with rubber strips to eliminate frame to marker contact

6) The diameter of a new disk is 15". Replace disks worn smaller than 14 1/2" as they may create a "W" in the seed trench which can cause a difference of up to 3/4" in seed depth.

7) Check seed tubes for wear and replace if the lower end is split or worn thin.

8) The closing wheels should be adjusted so that they are equal distance from the center of the seed trench. Bushings, bolts and eccentrics need to be in good condition to prevent side-to-side movement of the wheels

9) Seed boxes need to be evenly filled to distribute weight evenly across the planter. In wet or sandy conditions, 3bu. seed boxes may cause excessive compaction and rutting if over filled. They may weigh from 120 to nearly 200 lbs. per row when full.

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