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Pre-plant checklist a good idea

Growers should go through a checklist before heading to the field to plant this spring.

For instance, get those monitors powered up, go out and brush through the seed tubes, stick a zip-tie down inside and wiggle it around.

“Make sure all of your wiring is working and that a mouse hasn’t gotten in there and chewed through it,” Randy Aberle, of RA Seeding Solutions, said.

Aberle recommends testing as many systems as possible before heading out for the first day in the field. This means not going out the first day of the season and hoping the planter works after the long offseason.

Dean Atkins with Atkins Seed Service feels planter inspections from a fresh set of eyes are a great idea each year.

“As farmers, we can think that our planter is ready to go and then we get out in the field and realize something was wrong,” noted Atkins. “A lot of times, it is something pretty inexpensive and pretty easy to fix.”

Both Aberle and Atkins were working at the Precision Planting booth during the recent Midwest Ag Expo at Gordyville. The company offers several products to make planters do a better job.

“We’ve got pretty much the full lineup here – we’ve got a row unit with almost all of the products mounted on it,” explained Aberle.

Many dealers are offering deals on planter meter inspections while it is still early in the year.

Aberle held a planter meeting last Friday at his business, RA Seeding Solutions, near Melvin.

Atkins will host a Precision Planting informational meeting Friday, Feb. 21 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Atkins Seed Service location in McLean County near the intersection of Route 24 and the Weston Blacktop. You can reserve a spot by calling 815-945-5113.

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