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11 last-minute double-check planter prep tips

11 last-minute double-check planter prep tips

11 double-check tips from Kinze to ensure your planter is really ready to roll without costly breakdowns.

Nobody knows better what planter down-time costs during spring planting than planter manufacturers themselves. So consider these quick tips from Kinze Manufacturing to keep your planter running at its best.

Check disc opener blades: Replace 15-inch-diameter blades when they are worn to 14.5 inches. Ensure the disc blade contact is 1 to 1.5 inches.

Inspect the inner scraper: Be sure it protects the seed tube. Replace scrapers when they're worn to five-eighths of an inch or less.

Check those gauge wheels: Specifically look for light contact of the tire to blade in the operating position.

AVOID PLANTER DOWN-TIME: Double-checking this list now may help head off costly down-time and mistakes when you need to be planting at full-bore speed.

Look over the planter arm and bushings: Different field conditions can affect planter depth adjustment. So check and adjust the depth when field conditions change.

Assess closing wheel performance: Ensure that those wheels are centered over the seed trench and apply only enough down pressure to maintain good seed to soil contact.

If the closing wheel plugs with crop residue, the seed trench won't close properly. In that case, closing wheels may be offset slightly for better residue flow. An optional closing wheel shield might be needed to help prevent stalks from lodging in the closing wheel arm.

Adjust planter hitch height: Remember, your planter's hitch tongue must run parallel to the ground when the planter is in planting position. The parallel arms of the row unit should be approximately level when the toolbar is 20 to 22 inches above the planting surface.

Inspect bolts, bushings, down pressure springs and drive chains: All these elements on the planter's parallel arms to be sure all parts are performing optimally.

Got no-till coulters? They should be set at a depth slightly above disc opener blades.Residue wheels are intended to move obstacles in the path of the row unit to reduce hair pinning of the residue and create smoother row unit operation.

Adjust residue wheels: You want them to just skim the planting surface and may not turn 100% of the time. If the wheel tines build up with moist soil, they're set too deep.

Lights and safety systems: Now that your planter is field-ready, make sure it's also road-worthy from a safety standpoint. Confirm that your flashers are functional and your SMV sign is clean and bright.

Got your latest tech updates? Yes, that's part of today's planter prep checking. Software system updates are just as important as your planter's hardware.

For more tips from Kinze on spring planter prep, visit

Don't overlook spring planter preparation – if you skip it, you could be subject to the bottom-line implications of not minding the details. For helpful tips, download our free report: Planter Preparation Tips: Best Practices for Minimizing Breakdowns this Spring

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