Pre-Season Checklist Part 1: Prepare Your Display
I like to think of my father as a good teacher. One lesson Dad taught me was to always check my vehicle fluids and air pressure before leaving on a long trip. As I prepared to drive my old truck back to college one fall, Dad reminded me to check the oil before I headed out. To my surprise (and probably not to my Dad’s) I did not have enough oil to reach the dipstick! It took me five minutes to add some oil and I was on my way. Those few minutes I spent adding oil probably saved me all kinds of headaches later on. The same lesson applies to the precision equipment you will be using this spring. In my experience, farmers tend to be a little upset when they pull into the field for the first time and something is wrong with the precision equipment on the planter. Especially if they can’t plant. Now is the time to “check the oil” and make sure everything is going to function before you start in the field this spring.
The display is a good place to start when getting ready for the season. If you haven’t yet, read last year’s harvest data into SMS. Once you copy the data to the card, it will free up some memory in your display. Removing old seasons (after you have backed up that data) is another good way to free up memory. In addition, review the other management items in the display and remove unused farms/fields and old products. This is also a good time to add new information to the display.
There are two ways to create new farms/fields; you can create them directly in the display or through the SMS desktop software. If using SMS, you will need to use a management setup file (.MSF); you can learn about importing an .MSF here. Once you have your display setup properly, create a backup. I would recommend making a backup at least once a week during planting. You will also need to check the firmware version of your display. While there are several new features included in our latest firmware release, there are also many additional improvements and enhancements made to the firmware. (For example, Ag Leader has changed the onscreen mapping to exclude flyer points.) Updating your display to the latest version is the only way to take advantage of these improvements. Be sure to make a backup before you update your display.
Find updates for your display here. Now that your display is ready to go, we can talk about getting the precision ag equpment on your planter ready. We will cover this in Part 2 of our Pre-Season Checklist, so be sure to check back tomorrow!