By: Rob Patterson, Seed Manager and Kyle Johnson, Precision Technology Sales
We know it can be a mad dash for the field in the spring. To help get you ready for the season ahead and ensure you are in fact ready, Rob Patterson and Kyle Johnson teamed up to prepare a planting prep checklist! We hope you find this tool useful as you start gearing up for spring!
Variable rate planting
Identify your high and low performing areas to establish appropriate rates. Previous year harvest maps are a great tool to use for this.
In- Field Trials
Have you considered testing different seeding rates, products, fungicide trials etc. on your fields to find what works best? Our ProVantage customers have gained a lot of insight with the use of personal trials.
Have you established your plan of attack against weed threats with your Stutsman agronomist?
Do your fields have enough of the proper nutrients for the 2018 season? If not, it is time to establish a fertilizer plan.
All of your seed should be ordered by now
Map out your gameplan on what varieties/hybrids are going to be planted in your various fields
Identify your populations for your various hybrids
Make sure you don’t mix different herbicide traits within the same field
For soybeans, ask your neighbors what they are planting for herbicide traits
Sort your seed by the field on pallets or by the box so you are ready to roll
The most important part of every planter is the meter. Whether it’s corn or soybeans, if a meter is not calibrated or performing properly it can lead to poor seed placement. If you have finger pickup meters make sure to check these key components for wear: brushes, fingers, springs, back plates and seed belts.
If you have vacuum meters you should check brushes, gaskets, singulators, and seed disks for cracks or wear. Also, it is important to make sure seed disks are not warped. It is a good idea to have your meters tested on a meter stand every year whether you have finger meters or vacuum meters. The meter stand tests each individual meter for proper operation and calibration. If there is a problem with any of the meters, the grower will be alerted before they get to the field and it’s too late.
Inspect seed tubes
Seed tubes should be inspected annually for wear, cracks, and holes. The seed falls through the seed tubes so they can be properly placed in the seed trench. In doing so the seed rubs along the walls of the tubes causing wear. If the wear is significant enough it can cause seeds to bounce around. As a result, the seed takes longer to reach the ground causing poor spacing. The end of the seed tube is generally where the most wear takes place due to the seed exiting. Another thing to check while inspecting the seed tubes is how well the meters and the seed tubes join together.
Check tires for proper inflation
Tires should be checked on a regular basis for proper inflation. This is not only important from a compaction standpoint but it’s critical on ground drive planters too. If the drive wheels on the ground drive transmission unit are not properly inflated this can lead to wheel slippage causing a sporadic planting population.
Check drive chains, sprockets, cable drives, & bearings
Whether your planter meters are driven by chains or cable drives it is very important to inspect and lubricate the drive system on a regular basis. If the chains are too loose they can jump the sprocket causing seed spacing and population issues. If you have clutches installed on your planter it is important to lubricate them every year and make sure they engage and disengage correctly.
Check measurements & rate control settings
It is a good idea to check all GPS measurements if you are using any precision technology on your planter or tractor. This is extremely important if you traded tractors or planters over the winter months as GPS offsets change from tractor to tractor or planter to planter. If you have a hydraulic drive installed on your planter it is extremely important to check what gear ratios and seed disk sizes are entered into your rate controller. If you have clutches on your planter it is important to check your turn on/turn off delays so you don’t leave gaps or plant too far into your headlands.