It’s early in the season If the warm spring continues, there may be a day that will work for getting the seeder ready. It’s a job that needs to be done before the machine hits the field. The place to start with your seeder is to get it cleaned up. Get rid of all the dirt that might affect adjustments on the machine. Getting dirt off the machine also keeps the drill from contaminating fields with weeds or disease from other areas. Starting with a clean machine means that the job of setting up the seeder should go a little easier. Once the machine is cleaned up, basic adjustments must be done. Checking tire pressure, leveling of the shanks and making sure airflow is where it should be are all things that need to be looked at. The hitch needs to be leveled for the tractor that the seeder is attached to. These basic adjustments must be done to insure that the machine can run properly when it gets to the field. Going over all the hoses and seals on the seeding tools is essential. Air leaks in the hoses and the tank seals will affect product flow because of less air volume. If these problems are not fixed before seeding starts, improper rates of fertilizer or seed will result. These problems will show up for the rest of the season because of uneven growth rates and finally uneven maturity. Once the basics are covered for setting up the seeder, it is time to head towards the finer adjustments. Having seed placed at a half an inch different will make big changes in the crop through the summer months. Uneven growth heads towards uneven maturity. Tire tracks from the cart and the tractor that is pulling the seeder will make for uneven seed placement. It is difficult to get the seed in at the same depth in these areas, but the use of shims on the frame of the cultivator or adjustments on the disc or shank opener should be looked at to try to make changes in the depth of seeding. Each machine is unique so talk to your neighbors to find out how they have changed their machines to deal with these problems. Finally, it’s important to put some product in the tank and run it through. Grab some canola out of the bin and set up the fan speed that will be used in the field. It is important to see what damage the different settings are doing to the canola seed. If the fan speed is too high, crack and peeled canola seed will be the result. The same type of damage can be seen on peas if your fan speed is too high. Getting the adjustments right on your seeder is a must. If the adjustments are not done right, uneven crop will be the result. Poorly adjusted seeding tools will cause uneven crops. Uneven crops will result in more work and expense through the summer and less bushels in your bin in the fall.
By Dave Cubbon, P Ag