How to prep a no-till planter part 2

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1Parallel arms
Make sure all bolts are tight to secure parallel arms. Replace bushings and bolts if worn.

2Seed tub guard
A tube guard works inside the disc scraper. New, they are 1-inch wide and have fins to protect the tube. If worn too narrow the disc will rub the seed tube. Make sure the guard is fastened with two roll pins.

3Depth gauge arm and wheel
This arm should run against the disc. Adjust with shim washers or threaded bushing. Replace the arm if it is worn too much with threaded arm and bushing. The arm can be bent if it is not too worn.

4Seed firmer
The seed firmer can be tweaked by adjusting the tension bolt if needed and should be replaced if worn. Over time the firmer will get rounded on the bottom and will not do as good of a job pushing down the seed.

5Closing arm and wheels
The bottom of the wheels should be 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart. If the wheel is too sloppy on the arm it will need replaced. It should not be able to shift left or right too much. If too much play, replace arm or bushing.

6Spike closing wheels
These wheels should be 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 inches apart at the bottom. On spike closing wheel against a regular closing wheel should be 1 7/8 inches apart. Be sure that all closing wheels are perfectly aligned behind the double disc openers so they are closing equally on either side of the trench. Spikes and Posi closing wheels are recommended for closing the trench in tough conditions without causing compaction.

7Liquid pump
Hoses on the liquid pump should be pliable, not dried out or stretched.

Next week: Look for in-the-field no-till planter checks to keep it operational all planting season.

Source: Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance, No-Till Tips, A quick reference guide for the no-till farmer.

(Farm and Dairy is featuring a series of “101” columns throughout the year to help young and beginning farmers master farm living. From finances to management to machinery repair and animal care, farmers do it all.)

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