Tips For Corn Planter Tune-ups
The days are getting longer, the sunshine is becoming more plentiful and
temperatures are slowly rising. That can only mean that corn planters will soon
be running in fields across Indiana. If you havent taken the time to go
over your planter or have it inspected and serviced by your local dealer,
please take the time to do so before planting begins.
Several seed companies plus a number of planter dealers offer planter
unit testing using one of several planter test stands on the market. One of the
more popular test stands being used is called the Meter Max", manufactured by
Precision Planting" (http://precisionplanting.com/). This type of planter test
stand not only measures the accuracy of seeding rate, but can also give you an
idea of the uniformity of the seed drop by virtue of the seed dropping onto a
horizontal seed belt.
Here are some general guidelines and tips for planter maintenance and
- Clean the planter inside and out. This should have been done at the
end of last years planting season before the planter was put to
bed for the off-season. Check for old seed left in the hoppers, mouse
nests, and anything else that may interfere with the operation of the seed
meter or seed drop tubes.
- Check and replace all worn out parts.
- Ensure that coulters and disc openers are aligned accurately.
- Replace worn seals and check trueness of fit of seed drum (Case IH).
- Adjust or replace worn disc openers.
- For finger-pickup type planters, check finger-pickup backplates for
rust buildup, seed treatment residues, and worn down dimples. Check
and adjust finger tension.
- Check condition of seed conveyor belt. Age + seed treatment =
- Replace worn chains. Lubricate or replace chain links.
- Inflate tires to their correct pressure.
- Clean seed tubes and monitor sensors to ensure accurate monitoring of
- Replace seed tubes if excessively worn at bottom.
CALIBRATE THE PLANTER!
- For air or vacuum planters:
- Calculate & record the seed weight for each seed lot you
intend to plant.
- Identify & record the correct pressure (air or vacuum) for
the calculated seed weight.
- Identify & record the correct seed disc (or drum) for the
calculated seed weight.
- Double-check the operations manual and identify the correct
transmission setting for the desired seeding rate.
- Calibrate actual seed drop against ...
- Planter transmission settings
- Planter monitor readouts
- Calibrate at normal planting speeds and seeding rates.
- Calibrate in as close to field conditions as possible.
- Dont calibrate the planter in the farm lane.
- Calibrate pesticide and fertilizer planter attachments at same time
because application rates can easily change from year to year.
- Check that the planter toolbar is parallel to ground when planter is
in use because this affects disc opener depth, press wheel efficiency, &
seed to soil contact.
information about corn, take a look at the Corn Growers Guidebook on the World
Wide Web at http://www.kingcorn.org
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Agronomy Department that all persons shall have equal opportunity and
access to its programs and facilities without regard to race, color, sex,
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© 2001, Purdue University
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