Success of the growing season starts on the front end with planting. Seed costs continue to increase so peak performance of the planter is critical to maximize the yield potential of every seed. The Alabama Precision Ag Team has been hard at work getting our planters and technology prepped for the upcoming season. Our focus has been ensuring planting depth is correct while not placing too much down force on the gauge wheels to induce side wall compaction or compaction in general around the seed.
There are plenty of check points and setup features to look over on your planter. Below are two videos which cover basic tips for setting up your planter. Beyond the points mentioned in these videos, here is advice from our Precision Ag Team on how to improve planting:
- Check the wear on the gauge wheel stops. We found some rows to be 1/4 to 1/2 inch different in depth due to difference in wear; easy check and quick fix.
- Place each meter unit on a test stand – 99.5% or higher singulation should be the goal on the test stand.
- Calibrate planters with hydraulic drives – follow the operator’s manual but use pans or buckets under each row to determine if the displayed target rate in the cab matches what is actually metered by row.
- Invest in a quality planter display with row-by-row feedback – one of the best technology investments. One can ensure the performance of every row and that target rates are being met from day 1 through the entire planting season.
We collected 2013 farm data in corn fields which highlighted room for improvement in planter performance. Results can be seen on our Facebook page. Just take some time before heading to the field to make sure your planter will perform to your expectations. There is no room for error today considering your seed investment.