Planter maintenance is an important part of preparing for the coming growing season. (Photo by Carrie Muehling/WJBC)
By Carrie Muehling
LEXINGTON – Now is the time for farmers to prepare planters for the spring season.
Time spent now breaking the planter down to clean and repair parts can save headaches later when things need to be running smoothly, according to Dan Froelich, technical agronomist with Brandt Consolidated North. Froelich suggests pulling meters off, replacing brushes, repairing parts and clearing out residue left from last season. It is also important to check disk openers and chains, as well as drive shafts.
“Anything that can upset the apple cart... a frozen link that can cause an extra shudder or vibration through the unit will drop seed prematurely,” said Froelich.
One added challenge this year could be the size of the soybean seeds, which in many cases will be a lot larger than anyone is used to.
“I’m seeing beans as large as 2,100 seeds per pound. They’re going to really need to be buying different plates to do an accurate job of planting those beans because trying to put these large beans in your standard cells… it’s going to plug some things up and they’re not going to get a good drop and accurate planting,” said Froelich.
Depending on the kind of planter, farmers may need to buy additional plates to plant the large soybean seeds and now is the time to make those orders. Froelich also noted that many farmers may go back to applying insecticide this year, which means the insecticide box could need to be cleaned or calibrated before it is used.
Carrie Muehling can be reached at email@example.com.