Published at the
Chat 'n Chew Cafe, June
End-of-Season Planter Care
niform seed drop is an important contributor towards the
achievement of optimum corn grain yield. Planter maintenance and adjustments
are the primary factors that influence the uniformity of seed drop. Given the
nightmarishly delayed 2002 planting season, many farmers may simply want to
park their planters and forget about them until next winter.
Bear in mind, however, that planter maintenance for 2003 begins after
the finish of the 2002 planting season. Here are a few pointers to consider.
Consult your planter operations manual and equipment dealer for more details.
- Take the time to jot down notes on any planter operation problems
that occurred during this planting season so that you wont forget about
them later. If you are really ambitious, spend time during the next month to
work on correcting those problems while they are fresh in your mind. If you
cant find the time now to actually work on the planter, file your notes
away in a safe place where you can easily find them next winter.
- Clean out all the seed from the planter seed hoppers and metering
units. Seed left in the planter attracts rodents. Seed left in the units may
also rot and eventually gum up the metering units.
- While you cleaning out the seed from the metering units, take the
time to actually open them up and clean out as much of the caked on
seed treatment as possible.
- With vacuum planters, remove the seed discs to avoid constant
pressure on the rubber seals that can lead to eventual failure. Hang the discs
on a wall in the shop or down in the basement. Dont stack them on the
workbench or shelf because of the risk of warping. Store the discs where
temperatures will not drop below freezing next winter.
- With vacuum or other air planters, open up the air ductwork and tubes
and blow out all the dirt and crap that accumulated during planting.
- Remove the various drive chains on the planter, clean all the dirt
and grime from them, and lubricate them well before putting them back on the
planter. Some folks go so far as to store the drive chains in a bucket of oil
during the off-season. While you have them off, inspect them for worn chain
links or rollers and replace as necessary.
- Clean all of this years mud and crud off the coulters, disc
openers, press wheels, depth gauge wheels, and fertilizer openers. Apply rust
preventer to the coulters and disc openers.
- Clean off all the other dirt, grease, and grime from the rest of the
planter. Relubricate all bearings as appropriate.
- While you are doing all of these housekeeping items, inspect the
planter for broken or misadjusted parts or controls that will eventually need
to be replaced or repaired. Add these items to the to-do list you
- The final, and most important, thing you can do is to store the
planter inside a building or other sheltered area to protect it from the
weather for the ten months or so before you use it again.
- Useful References:
information about corn, take a look at the Corn Growers Guidebook on the World
Wide Web at http://www.kingcorn.org
It is the policy of the Purdue
Agronomy Department that all persons shall have equal opportunity and
access to its programs and facilities without regard to race, color, sex,
religion, national origin, age, or disability. Purdue University is an Affirmative Action
employer. This material may be available in alternative formats.
© 2002, Purdue University
End of document