In the Shop
As a farm machinery mechanic and writer, Dan brings a hands-on approach that only a pro can muster. Along with his In the Shop blog, Dan writes a column by the same name as well as the Shop Series for Farm Journal magazine. Always providing practical information, he is a master at tackling technical topics and making them easy for all of our readers to understand. He and his wife, Becky, live near Bouton, Iowa.
Time To Think About Trading Planters
Apr 23, 2014
It's hard to wrap your head around it, but if there's ANY chance you want to have a different planter NEXT spring, it's time now to make definite moves in that direction. And if you plan to pull a NEW planter behind your tractor next spring, it would be good to spend the next rainy day getting your name on the list at your local dealership for those apparently hard-to-get new machines.
I'm not a salesman and I don't know all the details on why planters have become such hot commodities that it's necessary to sign paperwork almost a year in advance of delivery. Maybe Machinery Pete will address the issue in a future blog. But there is a lot of demand for both used and new planters. Production of new planters apparently won't meet demand, so it's not salesman's hype that next winter will be too late to order a new machine from the factory.
Used planters are a different yet similar story. There are a lot of used planters sitting in sheds and on dealership lots. But a fair percentage are high-acre machines that will take a lot of loving attention and cash to prep for planting any serious amount of acres. The others are a hodge-podge of varying row widths, toolbar designs, and other variations that may make them unsuitable for a particular farming operation. For example, if you specifically want a 16-row, 30-inch planter with central fill tanks but without a pneumatic down pressure system but with liquid fertilizer tanks and tubes, it make take some serious shopping to find those options on one machine.
Add in the complications of all the in-cab options that may or may not be on your gotta-have shopping list for your next planter, and it could be a challenge to find what you need if you wait and start looking after New Year's next winter. Yes, it's difficult to start thinking about next year's planting equipment when you're barely started with this year's seeding efforts, but according to those in the know, it's almost too late.