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Planting Report: Welcome Rain Parks Planters Across Northern Plains

Good conditions early helped wheat seeding get off to a good start in the northern Plains.

Recent rainfall has helped improve soil moisture across the northern Plains and will help already-planted crops get off to a good start. While you’re waiting for your fields to dry, it’s a good time to make sure your planting equipment is ready to roll.

Today’s guest blogger is John Kahle, Case IH crop production product specialist. John covers eastern Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, western Minnesota and northwest Iowa. Here is his planting report from the field:

Much-needed rain has fallen across my territory and into Iowa. Although welcome, the moisture has slowed corn planting in some areas and delayed the start in others.

  • Precipitation in the spring wheat region improved soil moisture conditions, but snowfall in northern North Dakota last weekend and heavy rain in other areas has slowed fieldwork for several days.
  • Spring wheat planting is 61 percent complete in South Dakota, 34 percent complete in Montana and 23 percent complete in Minnesota. That puts us slightly ahead of the five-year average, but behind last year’s progress.
  • Corn planting definitely has been sporadic, at best, even before this week’s rains. We see small pockets of completion and large areas where planting hasn’t begun. As of April 17, Iowa and Minnesota corn planting is 13 percent completed. Corn planting in North Dakota and South Dakota was just gaining momentum when rain moved in. It will take off again once the ground dries following several days of rain.

Rainy-day checkup

If you haven’t taken a good look at your planting equipment lately, use the rainy days to complete a few maintenance items that can help ensure your planter is operating to its full potential:

  1. Inspect and measure opening disc diameter. On the 1200 series Early Riser® planter, opening discs are 14 inches in diameter when new. We strongly urge you to replace the opening discs once they are worn to less than 13½ inches. Make sure the opening discs aren’t bent and the bearings are in good condition. Also, ensure opening disc clearance is less than ⅛ inch. I recommend they be as close together as possible while still turning independently.

Inspect the furrow forming point by using the gauge that was supplied with the planter. If you’ve misplaced yours, you can order these gauges through the parts department at your Case IH dealer. If the furrow forming points need replacing, the seed shoe will probably be worn and should be replaced, too. The forming point finishes the seed trench by forming the soil at the bottom of the trench into a consistent V-shape for optimal soil-to-seed contact and germination.

  1. The closing discs are very important to ensure proper seed trench closure and the superior seed-to-soil contact that is achieved with the Early Riser planter. These 8-inch diameter closing discs should be replaced once worn to 7½ inches.

It’s important to replace discs and forming points in sets to maintain an even depth and good soil contact and to promote even wear patterns. Finally, when servicing the planter’s ground-engaging components, it’s crucial to zero out the row units to ensure all row unit depths are equal across the entire planter.

Precision farming tips

Whether you’re already well into planting or waiting for field conditions to improve, keep these best practices in mind to get the most from your Advanced Farming Systems:

  • Check after your first fields to verify your monitor is mapping correctly.
  • Save and back up your data as frequently as possible.
  • If you use cloud-based services, verify they are capturing data.

New equipment in spring wheat country

The new, completely redesigned Case IH Precision Air 5 series cart is in its inaugural season. Built around a powerful new section control meter, the 5 series carts provide increased productivity through bigger tank sizes and unmatched section control capabilities. It also features new auxiliary tank options and unmatched flotation. It’s the most accurate, productive and versatile air cart in the industry.

As always, planting time is a busy season. But remember: safety first; and a little maintenance can go a long way toward reducing downtime during this crucial planting window.

LEARN MORE HERE

Red and Ready Productivity Hub planter page

Tips to hit tight seeding windows

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