Setting up your planter before planting season begins correlates strongly with corn ear count in the field down the road, Farm Journal associate field agronomist Missy Bauer tells viewers in Episode 1 of Corn College TV Season 3.
"Remember, 1,000 ears per acre is worth five to seven bushels," Bauer says. Losing 1,000 ears per acre is one thing, but losing 3,000 to 4,000 per acre as a result of poor planter setup results in lost dollars.
Components to watch closely include parallel arms, bolts and bushings. As bolts and bushings wear out, row-unit bounce can occur. Holding the back of the unit and rocking it up and down can help operators discover whether tightening needs to occur or whether components need to be replaced.
Other things to check include disc-opener wear. Once a 1/2" of wear occurs (many disc openers, for example, start at 15" or 14"), it’s probably time to replace the openers in order to ensure the creation of a true "V" trench into which seed can be dropped.
Watch Episode 1 of Corn College TV Season 3 below to learn about these subjects from Bauer and Farm Journal agronomist Ken Ferrie, as well as:
- Inspecting gauge wheels and seed tubes/guards/firmers
- Adjusting shims
- Calibrating your planter, including bearing chain checks
- Picking the right attachments for your crop rotation and soil conditions
- Understanding how to know if an ear will hold all the kernels that it pollinated