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Published 21 Feb 2005

Planter Maintenance: Less Down Time, More Yield

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R.L. (Bob) Nielsen
Agronomy Dept., Purdue Univ.
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054
Email address:

he days are getting longer and temperatures are slowly rising. That can only mean that corn planters will soon be running in fields across Indiana. If you haven’t 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.

A well-maintained planter will lessen the risk of down time and ensure a timely finish to planting this spring. Copyright 2004, RLNielsen, Purdue Univ.Another benefit to a smooth-running planter will be a greater likelihood of uniform stand establishment; an important factor for achieving maximum yields (Doerge et al., 2002; Nielsen,2001; Nielsen, 2004).

Several seed companies plus a number of planter dealers offer planter unit testing with the use 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™ ( 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.

Check out the related references below for links to service support Web pages at Case-IH, Deere, and Kinze. Here are some general guidelines and tips for planter maintenance and adjustments.


Related References

Case-IH. 2004. Parts & Service. Available online at (URL verified 2/21/05).

Deere & Co. 2004. John Deere Services and Support. Available online at (URL verified 2/21/05).

Doerge, Tom, Tom Hall, and Doug Gardner. 2002. New Research Confirms Benefits of Improved Plant Spacing in Corn. Crop Insights Vol. 12, No. 2. Pioneer Hi-Bred Int'l, Johnston, IA. Available online at (URL verified 2/21/05).

Kinze Manufacturing. 2004. Kinze Product Service. Available online at (URL verified 2/21/05).

Kinze Manufacturing. 2004. Kinze Finger Pickup Corn Meters: Repair, Maintenance and Adjustments. Available online at (URL verified 2/21/05).

Kinze Manufacturing. 2004. Kinze Row Unit and 3000 Series Planter Maintenance Reference Guide. Available online at (URL verified 2/21/05).

Nielsen, R.L. (Bob). 2001 (rev). Stand Establishment Variability in Corn. Agry-91-01. Purdue University Agronomy Dept. Available online at (URL verified 2/21/05).

Nielsen, R.L. (Bob). 2004. Effects of Uneven Plant Spacing on Corn Grain Yield. Corny News Network Research Updates. Purdue University. Available online at (URL verified 2/21/05).


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For other information about corn, take a look at the Corn Growers' Guidebook at

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