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Get Ready for #Plant16

Every pass you make across a field – from tillage, to sidedressing, and eventually combining – helps you maximize yield potential. While each pass plays an essential role, planting is arguably the most important part of your farming operation.

In a short window of time, a planter must deliver the seed to the soil as precisely as possible. “If the seed isn’t placed in optimal conditions at the appropriate time, how can you expect the crop to reach its full yield potential?” asks Ryan Molitor, Raven.

To place each seed precisely, your planter needs to be in tip-top shape. In the articles below, you’ll find helpful preseason planter maintenance, adjustments to achieve even emergence, and the weather outlook as well as potential issues to watch for this spring.

9 Preseason Planter Maintenance Tips

Planter design may have transformed, and seed technology may have advanced of late. What hasn’t changed, however, is the paramount necessity for a preseason inspection and maintenance on seeders, insists Kevin Kimberley, an ag consultant who helps ensure his customers’ planters operate at 100%. These are the nine maintenance chores that are essential to complete before planting starts.

12 Overlooked Preplanting Maintenance Tasks

After you tend to the more common preplanting chores, take a look at the 12 most often overlooked preseason maintenance areas. It’s these preseason preparations (a dead battery, the engine on a transfer pump that won’t start, a closing wheel bearing that seizes, or a hydraulic hose that blows) that prevent what could flare up into a breakdown in a month or so.

5 Planter Adjustments to Achieve Uniform Seeding Depth

Paul Jasa has been hearing complaints from farmers running front-fold planters with central seed hoppers. They are noticing problems with uniform seeding depth across the width of the planter. Jasa found that the center section of the planter was performing as it was set by the farmers. However, shallower seeding depths were occurring on the wings. Here are his five recommendations to fix this issue.

Achieve Even Emergence With These Planting Tips

Uniform emergence can have a 5% to 9% impact on yield. With a 200-bushel-per-acre average on a given field, one could see a lost yield impact of up to 18 bushels, and at today's prices that is roughly $63 per acre. In this article, Ryan Hough with John Deere addresses the main steps farmers can take to improve uniformity of emergence.

On-Farm Trial Compares Hydraulic Downforce to Air Bags

Can hydraulic downforce help you achieve a picket fence stand? One Iowa farmer, along with an Iowa State professor and the operations manager for the Iowa Soybean Association, is running an on-farm trial to see how DeltaForce compares to air bags. The yield results might surprise you.

Weather Outlook: Soil Is Warming Up Early

If there’s one thing meteorologists Dan Hicks and Dale Mohler agree on, it’s the fact that soil is warming up early this year, but it will also need a little time to dry out. However, growers can rest easy knowing soil won’t be pounded with heavy rains as El Niño quickly fades. 

2016 Planting Outlook

The 2016 planting season is nearly here, and the weather forecast looks promising for a nice spring. Yet, with early planting comes the threat of cool, wet weather and potential frosts. If you start running the planter sooner than normal, there are a few issues to watch out for this spring, including seedling diseases and nitrogen.

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