Bad weather is a good time to go through planters


Bad weather is a good time to go through planters

An agronomist says farmers should take advantage of the less-than-ideal spring weather to go over their planters.

Scott Rowntree is a field agronomist for Pioneer in southern Wisconsin.  He tells Brownfield it’s a good time to check things beyond the usual grease fittings. “Raise that planter up and go behind each row unit. Move it side to side and up and down. You might need to replace the bushings on those parallel linkages if we’re seeing a lot of side-to-side movement. You know, we can have inconsistent seed depth and kind of a row-to-row sway if we have those bushings worn out.”

Rowntree also checks the opening disks to make sure there are about 2 inches of contact by sliding a business card between them. “Another thing is the gauge wheels. We want a little bit of contact between the disk openers so we’re not having dry soil move in between the opening disks and the gauge wheels, and we also don’t want a lot of side-to-side play in those gauge wheels either, so sometimes we have to replace those bushings.”

Rowntree says seed meters should be tested every two or three years to make sure there is good singulation for even planting. “A properly calibrated meter can easily add five bushels per acre to that crop we’re growing.”

Rowntree says spending a little extra time in the shop now while waiting for better field conditions can pay off at harvest time.