Originally published in the Chat 'n Chew Cafe, February 2000
URL: http://www.kingcorn.org/news/articles.00/Planter_Issues-000223.html

Planter Maintenance:
There's Still Time!

R.L. (Bob) Nielsen
Agronomy Dept., Purdue Univ.
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1150
Email address: rnielsen@purdue.edu

Uniform stands of corn are important for achieving full yield potential from those bags of expensive seed corn that you buy and plant. Uneven plant-to-plant spacing and/or emergence can reduce yield potential by seven to 15 bushels per acre, with little hope of ever recovering that difference by the end of the growing season.

Be sure to inspect your planter now while there’s still time to replace worn parts and make adjustments. If you don’t have the time or skills, then make arrangements for your dealer to service your planter. Here are some tips and guidelines for planter maintenance items. More specific help is available from your friendly, neighborhood planter dealer.

After planting is completed...

Hopefully, you already completed these items shortly after you finished planting last spring. Put them on your "to-do" list for the end of the coming planting season.

Pre-season maintenance

Take advantage of spring fever (or cabin fever!) during the winter and go over your planter with the proverbial fine-toothed comb. A precursor to this activity is to locate the planter’s operations manual and browse through it to refresh yourself on important pre-season maintenance activities.

Planter calibration

All the maintenance in the world is for naught if you head to the field without calibrating the planter. Difference among seed lots can influence planter calibration. Obviously, using a single planter for both corn and soybean planting influences calibration. Time spent calibrating a planter is time well spent.

Bottom Line …

A little attention and tender loving care paid to your planter now will pay big dividends later in terms of more uniform stands of corn and higher grain yields. The beauty of this advice is that most of the maintenance and adjustments necessary for bringing a planter into shape are relatively inexpensive, while the potential returns in yield can be quite large.

Corn Growers GuidebookFor other 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.
© 2000, Purdue University
End of document