Hardware’s Spring Checklist for Successful Planting
Although spring hasn’t fully arrived here in Ames, the polar vortex days are thankfully behind us. That means we’re all getting antsy for the warm, sunny days of May. Until then, this would be the ideal time for pulling the planter out of the shed to ensure your planting setup is ready for trouble-free field operation.
An Ag Leader customer inspecting components on a Monoseam plot planter.
The first step will be powering on your display to manage data, update firmware and create a backup. Be sure the Grower, Farm, and Field information is current; add your varieties for the upcoming year into your product list, and delete any unused data. We recommend making sure the harvest data from 2013 has been successfully imported into your software program as well. Finally, load your planting configuration to the run screen to verify all modules located on the planter are communicating with the display.
Once your display is ready, move to the components located on the planter. Each of the links below will give you a step by step guide to confirm your clutches, population monitoring, hydraulic drives and Hydraulic Down Force are working as they should. Don’t forget to check out the SeedCommand Pre-Season Checklist for more helpful steps!
• SeedCommand Pre-Season Checklist
• Planter Task Controller Quick Reference Sheet
• Clutch Control Module Quick Reference Sheet
• Seed Tube Monitoring Module Quick Reference Sheet
• Planter Population Monitoring for Kinze PMM
• Hydraulic Seed Control Quick Reference Sheet
• Hydraulic Down Force Quick Reference Sheet
Of course, Ag Leader also recommends looking over the physical components and setup of the planter. This includes checking all of the row unit hardware such as gauge wheels, seed disk openers and height adjustment levers. Check over cabling and hydraulic hose routing for pinch points or problematic areas. Another important aspect is to ensure your toolbar is level, to minimize stress on the row unit and prevent row unit “nose-diving.”
- Toolbar Level – Check for a level planter toolbar. An unlevel bar will cause weight to be improperly distributed throughout the planter. Top and bottom row unit linkage bolts should be flush with each other, as well. Bushings may need to be replaced on row units if too much free play is found while lifting on the back of the row unit.
With many of our customers utilizing the Hydraulic Down Force system this spring, we recommend looking over your planter’s toolbar height and confirming system operation, outlined below:
- Toolbar Height – From the bottom of the toolbar to the ground should be around 20 inches, though we recommend verifying this distance with your planter manufacturer. This measurement should be taken in multiple areas across the planter in level field conditions. Proper toolbar height will provide your actuators full range of motion while moving across the field.
To verify actuator and hydraulic circuit operation you will need to:
- Lower Planter
- Enter Manual Ground Speed
- Engage Hydraulic Remote
Once the above steps are completed you will need to select the device icon in the upper right corner of your Ag Leader® Integra display and then select Down Force Module. Once highlighted; press diagnostics. You will then see a page like this:
On this page you will be able to detect sensor status as enabled or disabled, as well as current sensor readings for the channel(s). Hydraulic pressure in PSI is also shown. This diagnostic page is an excellent way to determine that all sensors are reading and reporting back to your display.
For any questions you may have please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 515-232-5363.
Current Support Hours:
Monday-Friday: 7am to 7pm CDT
Saturday: 8am-4pm CDT
Sunday: 12pm-4pm CDT
Tech Support would like to wish you a safe and seamless planting season!
Scott, Brian. Plot a Course. 2013. Photograph. The Farmer's Life Web. 10 Mar 2014. <http://i2.wp.com/thefarmerslife.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/2013-05-08-07.53.33.jpg>.