The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa on April 5, 1966 · Page 18
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The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa · Page 18

Algona, Iowa
Issue Date:
Tuesday, April 5, 1966
Page 18
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your planter ready to roU? ONE STORY circulating the Midwest tells of a farmer with so many chemical and fertilizer attachments on his planter that he forgot to put in the seed. Less humorous are the annual sad*but- true stories of farmers who got the wrong plant population because they miss-calibrated fheir planter, or who lost two days of valuable time because their planter broke down. Planting ; — the way it's done today — puts a premium on time and precision. There's an endless list of adjustments to make, and the accuracy of each has a direct effect on yields and profits. Most good corn and bean growers develop the technique of "hurrying slowly." They do their hurrying prior to planting — giving their planter a thorough going over. Then they plant at a steady, unhurried, trouble-free pace. You can do likewise by pulling your planter out of the shed early. Discovering loose or worn parts now will not only save time when you start planting, but it will give you a better, more even stand. A bad sprocket, gear or chain can affect the metering accuracy. Check the entire power train from the ground drive-wheel to the seed plate of each unit. Replace worn parts, and put other doubtful parts on order whenever you suspect trouble might occur. Your planter operator's manual has a list of specific items to check for wear and adjustment. If you lost your manual on the back forty last spring, it'll pay you to get another before making adjustments for the desired plant population. "Guesstimates" won't fill a row or your grain bin. Calibrating a planter can be a ticklish job, so allow yourself adequate time to do it right. Your operator's manual and the trouble-shooting checklist on this page will help you set your planter for the desired number of kernels per acre. Since planting speed can cause a wide variation in planting rates, final calibra- _ No longer can you simply pull into the field and roll out the check wire. Modern planters are precision machines which require precision adjustments. tion must be made at planting speed. Here's a trick used by a lot of top farmers to adjust planting rates: With the planter in a raised position, drive at planting speed across your farm yard, where kernels can be easily counted. Check to see if kernels are dropping at the desired interval, and that all rows have the same seed drop. Also, check for damaged kernels. This could mean you are using wrong seed plates. Make your calibration runs with the same seed corn you plan to use, and be sure you use the seed plates recommended on your seed bag. Keep your speed within the recommendations for the seed plates you use, in order to get a 100% cell fill. If you change seed varieties, change plates. In some cases, the planting rate of your test runs may be slightly higher than the field rate, because of the increased slippage of the drive wheels on a rough field surface. But your tests will be very close. As a final check, dig up a few hills when you get to the field. Good growers do a lot of digging during the first few hours in the field, and are well paid for their time at harvest. If you're not getting the performance you want during adjustments or while planting, see the checklist below for solutions to your problems. Since planting sets the pace for the year's profits, it pays to take time to do it right. TROUBLE-SHOOTING CHECKLIST PROBLEM Irregular Drill Spacing of Seed m the Row Varying Number of Seed in the Hill (Hill Dropping) Excess Seed or Plants per Acre Shortage of Seed or Plants per Acre Excess Seed Damage SUGGESTIONS Use better grade of seed Improper seed plate Knocker is not working Seed in cut-off cap Cut-off tongue not down on seed plate Drive wheels not driving constantly Improper seed plate Poorly graded seed Check knocker and cut-off tongue action Drive wheel not driving constantly Ground speed too fast Use longer seed plate cell Seed grade too small or irregular Seed plate cells too large Planter set wrong for desired population Drive wheel not driving constantly Seed plate cells too small Knocker roller worn Planter set wrong for desired population Wrong seed plates Cut-off tongue raised or worn Seed not uniform

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