No-till planter in-field checklist

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no-till planter

1Planter level
The bottom of the toolbar should be 20 inches from the ground. Parallel arms should be horizontal. The whole planter should be level and not crooked.

2Seed spacing
Move seed depth handle as far forward as possible, this will lay the seed on top of the ground. Tie closing wheels and seed firmers up off the ground. Then drop the planter and drive 20 or 30 feet. For a 30-inch row measure 17 feet and 5 inches. Then count each seed. Your seed count in 17 feet and 5 inches is how many thousand per acre you are planting. Do this two or three times and take and average. For 28 inch rows you should count the seeds in 18 feet and 8 inches; for 24-inch rows, count the seeds in 21 feet and 10 inches.

3Seed depth
A seed depth of 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches is ideal. In very dry conditions 2-3 inches would be best. Never plant at a depth less than 1 1/2 inches. The depth hand moved forward is shallow, moved back is deeper.

4Dropping seed
Make sure each unit is dropping seed when starting each field.

5Closing wheels
Closing wheels shouldn’t run in seed trench. You want to match rubber, cast or spike to field conditions.

6Coulter blade
Align the coulter blade with the seed disc, do so by adjusting with shims.

7Down pressure springs
Check and adjust to field conditions.

8Oil chains
Grease depth wheel arm twice a day. Put 1 teaspoon of graphite in each hopper every 6 bushels, per row.

9Wiring harness
Inspect the wire routing and secure as needed. Check the cables and connectors for damage or corrosion.

10Sensors
Check the distance sensors, seed tube sensors and shaft rotation sensors.

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

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