Sponsored By
indiana Prairie Farmer Logo

A $6 Seed Meter Brush May Be the Planter's ProblemA $6 Seed Meter Brush May Be the Planter's Problem

What a gallon of graphite, a bottle of aspirin, a bar of soap and two days of hardly any soybean planting have in common

Jennifer Campbell 1

April 30, 2015

3 Min Read

Last spring, my husband, Chris, came to me and said, "I'll need you to plant beans today."

Now I have done my fair share of field work, but I prefer to leave the planting to someone else. I mean, if I miss a spot Turbo-tilling or cultivating, we will still have a crop. But you leave a pie shape planting and there is no crop – we would have to look at it all summer!

Chris convinced me I was up to the challenge when he said, "It's only beans, there's really nothing to it. Put the planter down, drive, pick the planter up, turn, put the planter back down."

He said he would have someone help me fill, but "just keep that planter moving!"


Popular now: How clever farm wives get their farmer's attention

So off to the field I went in the John Deere 4640 dragging the 8/15 split row Kinze behind me – ready to plant some beans. While planting beans doesn't require as many monitors and buzzers screaming at me as corn, Chris' theory of "just put the planter down and drive" was a little on the simplified side.

We don't have auto-steer in the JD 4640, so there was the whole steering straight thing, along with making sure the right marker was down for the next round to be straight. The row unit monitor chirped at me!

Yes, the row unit monitor chirped at me – oh, row three. How you and I went round and round! Really, it was me going round and round – in and out of the tractor – to see what your problem was. Two days we fought together.

Related: Livestock farmers' bath towels lead double lives

Every time I would call Chris he would say, "just add more graphite." I added graphite and then more graphite and still more graphite.


Turns out, lack of graphite wasn't the problem. I plugged the meter with it! Eventually, we took the unit apart. Of course it was full of seed, seeing as it wasn't working properly, and we had hardly planted anything when we looked at it. We eventually took it to the dealer and they suggested we change the brushes in the seed meter.

It seemed too simple but it worked. The brush in row three was the same age as the other rows but something was different. The seed we were planting was really large, 2400 seeds per pound, apparently the seed and brush just weren't working together.

The moral of the story: a $6 part can save a gallon of graphite, a bottle of aspirin, a bar of soap and two days of hardly any planting.

Jennifer - 0; Graphite - 1.

For farmers to maximize soybean yields, they need to maximize their management. Often soybean management takes a backseat to corn, but it doesn't have to. Download our free report, Boost Your Soybean Yield, for a one-stop look at ways you can better manage your crop.

About the Author(s)

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like