Everything that happens out in the field — from a bountiful yield to a productive harvest — starts with a properly planted seed. And while winter may not be over just yet, properly preparing your planter now can help you get a productivity-boosting head start to the season.
Inspection and maintenance
Standard planter maintenance during off-season will keep you ahead of schedule come spring. Remember to conduct these checks before pulling your planter out of that first field gate this season.
- Planter tire pressure: An easy maintenance tip to forget, planter tire pressure helps with speed control, seed uniformity and general operation.
- Chains: Loose or unlubricated chains can lead to major planter problems. Make sure all damaged chains and chains with frozen links are replaced prior to operation.
- Opening and closing disc diameters: Replace any opener disc less than 13.5 inches in diameter, and any closing disc that is smaller than 7.5 inches in diameter.
- Lubrication: Lubricate AccuRow clutches and make sure to drain air storage tanks throughout the season to prevent potential air clutch damage caused by moisture build-up.
- Row units: Always check seed depth when you begin to plant and throughout the season — failing to zero out row units and not paying attention to changing field conditions can lead to undesired seed depths and poor seed placement.
- Seed disc, seed disc cover and singulator spools: These components have wear grooves that indicate when they are worn out. Check the Advanced Seed Meter (ASM) to make sure all parts are properly functioning.
- Meter calibration: Properly calibrating your meters can mean the difference between optimal stand and major stand variability issues. The MeterMax® stand can help make calibration simple by tailoring your meters to your specific in-field needs.
- Part replacements: Ordering a replacement part for your planter should be done ahead of time. Nothing is worse than a broken part that needs replacing during the middle of planting season.
Seed-specific planter preparation
When preparing your planter, it helps to think like a seed: what calibration measures will help your seeds achieve optimal planting conditions?
- Proper seed depth can boost yield potential. To attain proper seed depth, pay attention to disc openers and down pressure. Disc opener size and blade contact should not exceed 1/8-inch. Your air compressor should be in functioning order without leaks — alternatively, spring down pressure units should be checked for spring integrity.
- Uniform seed placement ensures planting consistency. Checking your planter tire pressure for consistency can help avoid population changes. Be sure to also zero out row units anytime you make changes to ground-engaging components.
- Seed-to-soil contact makes for faster germination. Take advantage of the wear gauge on your planter to verify your furrow forming point is intact and well-maintained.
- Proper soil pressure ensures consistency around the seed. Check closing disks for wear and monitor your zero-pressure press wheel is in good condition for maximum benefits.
Upgrades and resources
In addition to maintenance and repair tips, talk directly with your Precision Planting® certified dealer about potential planter upgrades for next season — they can point you toward the most efficient steps you can take to improve your planter for a busy spring.
As always, a planter inspection from your local Case IH dealer is key to making sure your planter is ready for the upcoming season. Your dealer can spot maintenance issues that could lead to lost planting days or costly repairs down the road — at worst, a worn or broken part may take weeks to replace, leading to wasted planting days and tighter windows. Avoid the risk and schedule an inspection now.