Get More from Your Data
We can learn so much from the past. The Data Forward program offered by Latham Hi-Tech Seeds makes it easier than ever to gather and organize valuable information that can be used to make crop planning decisions, equipment investments, financial decisions and more.
For example, you might be comfortable with the planter you own but would like to invest in newer technology. It might not be as costly or complicated as you think! By using Data Forward, you do not have to choose between “simple to operate” or “best performance.”
Latham’s Precision Advisors can help you consider the options. For example, you might have noticed that late-emerging plants cost you money. Maybe you want consistent singulation and consistent spacing to achieve the highest profitability. Maybe you are considering a planter capable of applying at-plant fertility. We can achieve most of these upgrades by adding them to the planter you already have.
If you are unsure how to assess best planter preparation and performance, we can help! Using your machine-generated data, we can use Data Forward to analyze your current situation. Then we can monitor your crop throughout the season, assess your yield data next fall, and help you make informed decisions for 2022.
Below is an eight-step planter checklist for your consideration.
- Test Bushings– Parallel linkage maintains a level row unit and keeps the row unit running smooth. Test your bushings by moving the row unit up and down and side to side. If there is excess play in the parallel arms, it could be a worn bushing. Replace bushings as necessary.
- Check the Meter Drive System– A kinked chain in any part of the chain system can cause erratic seed spacing. If there is any possible concern, it’s best to replace the chain. If you have cable drives, check the ends for frayed cables. Also spin the cable to make sure they spin freely.
- Level the Planter– A level planter provides the proper orientation of the no-till coulter to the opening disc and seed tube angle. Even the closing wheels won’t perform properly if not level. Hook up the planter and put a level on the main bar to ensure it is perpendicular, running slightly uphill.
- Calibrate Meters– It’s always good practice to have your meters inspected and calibrated annually on a meter stand.
- Create a Proper Seed Trench– Double disk openers require a solid point of contact to create a perfect seed trench. Check your disc openers every season to see if replacement discs or shimming is necessary.
- Inspect Seed Tubes– Inspect your seed tubes for wear at the bottom the tube. Worn out or cracked seed tubes could cause seed ricochet and erratic seed placement in the furrow. There are seed tube replacement options with carbide tips to prevent wear from happening.
- Look at Gauge Wheels– Gauge wheel arms take a lot of stress. With the planter in transport position, raise the gauge wheel up and look at the tolerance between the edge of the gauge wheel and the opening disc. If the gap is large enough to fit your fingers in, you may need to look at adjusting the gauge wheel arm or even replacing.
- Align Closing Wheel– Be certain your closing wheels are centered over the seed trench. One way
to check this is to lower the planter onto the concrete and pull forward about a foot. The disc openers should leave a mark on the concrete to gauge your closing wheel alignment.