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11 planter tune-up tips for spring

Here are 11 things you should check before planting season.

1. Level the planter. Changing tires on your tractor or using a different tractor from the previous year can change the height of the hitch and, therefore, the level of your planter. Make sure you check the hitch height and ensure the planter’s toolbar is level or running slightly uphill. Precision Planting recommends that the planter toolbar be 22 inches off the ground.

2. Test row unit ride. Worn bushings increase row unit bounce, which increases seed bounce. Make sure bushings are tight for a good ride in the field.

3. Check your meter drive system. Look at every chain and hex shaft. Kinked chains cause shock and vibration in the meter. Start with lubricated chains and check them daily. Ensure your hex shafts are aligned properly.

4. Plan for successful seed delivery. Inspect seed tubes for wear at the bottom. Seed tubes with a small flap should be replaced.

5. Test gauge wheels. As soon as gauge wheels stop wiping the opening disc cleanly, they should be adjusted or replaced.

6. Analyze closing wheel adjustment. With your planter on concrete, pull ahead about five feet. The mark left should run right down the centerline between the closing wheels. If it’s too close to the mark, adjust the closing wheels.

7. Prepare for spring conditions. Any planter can benefit from well-adjusted row cleaners. Make sure row cleaners gently whisk away residue, not soil.

8. Check air pressure. Make sure tires are properly inflated to reduce compaction issues.

9. Grease up. Grease your wheel modules, wing hinges, and folding pivot points.

10. Get markers ready. Check the torque on the mounting bolts, grease all pivot points, and inspect the marker blades and repack the bearings.

11. Safety first. Check your safety warning signs and lights to ensure they are visible and operating correctly.

Information provided by Precision Planting and Kinze.

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