Keeping your seeder in tip-top shape to ensure you have little interruptions during seeding is important from both a time and money perspective.

Planting 2021 will be in full swing on many farms now very soon, if it isn’t already.

Murray Soanes, Technical Service and Support Manager at SeedMaster, has been working with SeedMaster for 18 years.

Be Fully Prepared for Seeding

For grain farmers, seeding is the official start of the new season, so getting off on the right foot is key. Soanes says while you can’t control the weather, you can be prepared to go when it’s time. He says in SeedMaster’s case, they have quick reference guides and ways to check the equipment such as stationary checks to ensure things like meters are working before heading out into the field.

Make sure all the drive chains and meters are lubricated, packer tires are in good shape and the seed delivery system is clean.

In some cases, to try and help with the efficiency process, some farmers do a full pre-seed test by completely loading and unloading before seeding.

Soanes says this will also help the farmer understand how long it will take to fill the seeder on the fly.

Putting it Away with Care Will help Identify Problems

A great way to keep your seeder in pristine shape is to make sure it is properly taken care of after you have seed in the ground.

Soanes says when the machine is put away it should almost be ready to go out for the following year.

“We recommend that the machine be cleaned off, tanks and meters washed and lubricated, as well as a machine inspection prior to storing it unfolded, with hydraulic pressures released,” said Soanes.

Once you have removed all the treated seed and fertilizer, he says, rinsing it off isn’t enough.

“Wash it ideally with hot water. So, application and making sure that it’s absolutely 100 per cent clean.”

He says this will limit corrosion build up and make sure there is no product left over in the machine. Soanes also recommends you lubricate drive chains and clusters to help prevent corrosion. He says many farmers also apply lubricants like FLUID FILM to make sure nothing rusts when in storage.

This work will also allow you to make a list of any parts that need to be replaced and potentially cash in on off-season discounts because there is no urgency to buy them.

“Simple steps go a long way with keeping a nice-looking implement.”

Managing the Tech and Data

With newer implements comes field computers. Soanes says it’s always good to complete file maintenance on the monitors and remove jobs from the computer once they are complete.

“These field computers, they need to make sure that we’re having adequate storage and they work like every other computer.”

He says you should always make sure there is room for new data to be stored. When planting wraps up for the year, it’s also a good idea to remove the monitors and store them indoors away from the cold temperatures we see during the winter months.

RECAP: Year-End Check List

1. Clean product out of product tanks

2. Wash tanks and meters with hot water

3. Lubricate Drive Chains and meters to prevent corrosion

4. Apply lubricants like FLUID FILM

5. Remove jobs and perform file maintenance on field computers

6. Store computers in a warm environment (E.g., A storage cabinet in your home or shop)

7. Make a list of parts that need to be fixed and wait for off-season discounts

8. Store your seeder unfolded to release hydraulic pressures

What’s Commonly Missed?

There’s always work to do after seeding, whether it is getting ready for spraying, irrigating the crop or working with livestock.

As a result, sometimes the most common mistake made is not taking the time to make sure the seeder is properly cared for before it is put away.

Soanes says it’s crucial to ensure the seeder is cleaned out, following inspection guidelines.

He says SeedMaster keeps notices, manuals, and other information on its website to help farmers stay informed and operate their seeder effectively.

“Following things like any type of inspection guideline that is available, whether it be on the websites or in the manuals, is important to follow… have downloaded or printed to be able to check the inspection points, whether it be at hinge points and keeper pins, caster assemblies, hub assemblies, as well tires.”

Stay in Touch

Make sure you have a working relationship with your dealer.

Soanes says this will allow you to stay up to speed with product improvements and new products made by the manufacturer.