Planting season is the most important part of the row crop business. Without proper preparation and planting, you will not raise the yields you are looking for to keep your operation going. Keep reading to learn some of the key points in making sure your farm is ready for planting season.
Do you already know that you need to upgrade your current operation for planting season? Take a look at the current planter solutions available at Koenig Equipment and reach out to our team to get additional information!
How important is land preparation?
The goal of land preparation is to give your crops the best seed-to-soil contact for optimal growth and enhanced yields. If your soil is not cleaned up, fertilized, or prepared properly, your crops and yields are going to reflect that. Land preparation is where your crop cycle begins, so it is very important you take proper fertilization and preparation into consideration before spring planting begins.
What do I need to do to get my equipment ready to plant?
When the weather turns right for planting, you want to make sure your equipment is ready to hit the field. Take some time in the winter months to go through your planter and get it ready for the upcoming season. See below for some of the key parts of the planter that need maintenance in order to be ready for planting.
- Row Cleaners – Review row cleaners for wear and adjust accordingly.
- Coulters – Look over the coulters and measure their diameters. If a coulter is slightly worn but still usable, adjust the depth to ensure it is reaching the same depth as the rest of the coulters.
- Closing Wheels – All bearings need to be properly tightened, meaning not too loose and not too tight. Consult your operator’s manual for model-specific guidance. Verify closing wheels do not have any damage or wear to them and the spring is intact.
- Meters – Take apart to clean and replace any covers with cracks. Look over the seed brushes and replace any that are worn. Make sure you also calibrate the metering units as well.
- Chains and sprockets – Look through all the chains and sprockets, if they are showing wear and need to be replaced, now is the time to do so. Be sure to grease the chains and sprockets regularly throughout the season as well.
- Depth Wheels – Depth wheels need to be running tight against the disks. Look over the washers and make sure they are all good and not worn. If you need to change the washers, be sure to work from the inside to the outside (or vice versa) and not at random.
- Seed Tubes – Ensure the end of the seed tubes is all open. As a seed tube wears, it tends to curl inward causing the seeds to catch and not be planted as intended. While looking over, make sure the tubes are fastened correctly in order to not come loose and cause future damage.
- Seed Firmers – The seed firmers assist in pressing the seed down into the ground to the correct depth. Check the tension and adjust the bolts until the desired tension is reached. Again, if these pieces are worn, it is better to place them before season to prevent any issues during season.
- Planter Unit – Planter units should be level. Look over each planter unit one and a time. If the sides are not the same height, check bolts to make sure they are tightened or see if additional bushings are needed to make the unit level again.
- Seed Opener Disks – Seed opener disks should have a ‘V’ slot to open the ground, if you are seeing a ‘W’ opening, the disks are worn, and need to be replaced. Check your operator’s manual for the minimum diameter that your specific planter needs to place the seed at the correct depth.
If you would prefer to have your planter maintenance done by a certified technician, Koenig Equipment offers Agricultural Equipment Inspections. Contact your local Koenig Equipment service specialists to schedule your appointment today!
Which tools will I need for planting season?
Thke type of tools and equipment you will need depends on the specific seeds you are planting. If your crop is corn or soybeans, you will need a planter. Depending on your preference, you can use an air seeder, drawn planter, or mounted planter. If your only crop is soybeans and you are looking for closer rows and higher populations, a grain drill might be a better option for you. If you are a wheat farmer, you will need a grain drill over a planter.
What should my planting schedule look like?
In the world of farming, the weather is in ultimate control of when you are truly able to get crops in the ground. Through years of study and research, the ideal time to plant corn is from April 20 to May 10. As you plant corn further into the month of May, the yield potential starts to decrease more and more.
Soybeans offer a little bit more of a grace period on planting time frames. For the southern regions of Ohio and Indiana, soil conditions are usually suitable for soybean planting any time after April 15. For the northern regions, the last week in April is the soonest you should start planting soybeans.
Ultimately, there is no exact date to plant your crops. Your planting schedule can vary year-to-year depending on weather and soil conditions. If you are in question as to when you should start planting, consult with your seed dealer or local agronomist.
Where can I find farm equipment for planting season?
Farm equipment is the first place to start when it comes to planting. You can’t get your crops in the ground if you don’t have the equipment to do so. Whether you are looking for a tractor to pull your planter or the planter itself, Koenig Equipment has exactly what you are looking for. From new to used equipment, you can find the right pieces for your farming operation through the expert team at Koenig Equipment.
Written by: Boland Media