By the time planting season comes to a close, it can be pretty tempting to put your planter away and not think of it again until we start to crest the hill of next spring. However, there are a number of steps you can take before storing your planter that will sow the seeds for a smoother planting season the following year.
Our precision farming team put together a list of things you should be checking and taking care of right now, before the planter goes back into storage. Going through this list will help keep your planter in great shape, and also get you thinking about any improvements you may want to make for the coming year.
Inspect your planter
Take some time to thoroughly inspect the entire planter. Keep an eye out for signs of damage and wear that may have occurred or worsened throughout planting season. By finding out what needs to be replaced now, you can take advantage of the off-season sales on parts. You’ll also give yourself plenty of time to make any necessary repairs, and maybe avoid doing these in the cold of February and March.
Clean and prepare
Now that you’ve inspected the planter for wear and tear, it’s time to clean and prepare. Ensure any remaining seed is cleaned out to prevent rodent traffic through the winter, which can result in damage in the spring. Pressure wash the entire planter, removing any debris or residue where spills may have occurred. Grease and spray any chains to prevent rusting.
Flush the systems
While you’re cleaning and preparing, be sure to purge liquid and fertilizer systems thoroughly with water. Once all systems have been cleaned, run an RV antifreeze through to prepare for winter storage.
Tend to your meters
Seed meters should be removed, disassembled, cleaned, and stored for the year. This is also a great time of year to have your seed meters calibrated! Many people don’t think about getting their seed meters calibrated until just prior to planting season. Beat the rush by having yours calibrated before storing them and have one less thing to worry about in the spring. You can read more about the importance of seed meter calibration here.
Now that the planter is ready for storage, start planning for the year to come. Take a look at your planting data and have someone POGO or scout your fields to measure seed placement and planter performance. Identify opportunities for improvement and determine if these opportunities are related to the planter, operator, or conditions.
Looking at this data while it’s fresh can allow you and your team to make decisions and adjustments before falling back into old habits next spring. As previously mentioned, parts are often on sale in the off-season, so now is the time to invest in upgrades to improve performance for next year. If the changes needed are behavioral, seek out training and workshops for your team to participate in before next spring.
Dairy One’s precision farming team is available to assist you with any of these steps. The team offers planter audits and inspections, meter calibration services, and scouting and POGO work. Dairy One is also a proud dealer of Precision Planting products and ready to help you identify what upgrades will have the biggest impact on your planter performance next spring.
For more information, email [email protected] or call 607-252-7550.
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