Wet Planters Need Love
Apr 27, 2016
Once this spate of wet weather clears the midwest, there will be a spike in questions about planters. If your planter had to sit out in the rain, here are answers to some of those questions:
-yes, the rust will eventually "work out" of the chains, but it will work out faster if you spray them with WD-40, JB-80 or some other good penetrating oil. Hosing them down with heavy chain lube will help, but it will also attract dust when you return to planting.
-If the seed monitor does weird things, or the frame folding box acts funny when you return to planting, disconnect the electrical connectors that connect the planter to the tractor, and spray them with contact cleaner or some other aerosol that "drives out" water. Rainwater sometimes runs down the outside (or inside) of dangling wiring harness and gets inside the connectors through the back door. Green grass in the spring is good; green pins or sockets in electrical connectors is bad.
-if you left seed in the seed boxes, especially soybeans, consider that ANY moisture that got into those boxes (or bulk tanks) migrates to the bottom where it causes seeds to swell and plug things up really, really snug. Especially if the rains were wind-driven--strong winds can drive moisture under lids and covers that are normally "tight" against rain.
-and finally…because it is so "late" (as in, the neighbors are done planting and you aren't), you will probably start planting a half day before it's really dry enough to plant. Back off one notch on your closing wheel pressure and gauge wheel down pressure to reduce the amount of packed soil the seedlings will have to deal with.