By Kyle Allen
With winter weather blanketing the state with cold and snow, it is hard to keep our minds from imagining sitting in the tractor seat this upcoming spring planting season. Some of us are asking, "Where did 2013 go?" From a late planting season to a later harvest season, 2013 season is finally in the books.
A good friend of mine has always said, "You get one chance a year to be successful in the field. That success always starts with your planter, the most important piece of machinery in your shed." Whether you agree with him or not, seed placement in your fields is one of the most important aspects of your farming operation. That seed placement begins with your meters and getting them calibrated, cleaned, maintained, and put back on that planter for a successful 2014 planting season.
Skips will cost you
In 2014, something as simple as calibrating your planter can affect your bottom line. We all know when walking fields we want that "picket-fence" look, meaning plants should be even and consistent. We cannot help but smile when it goes right. On the other hand, we sometimes scratch our heads wondering why we see doubles, skips, or even no seed at all.
While walking through a field this fall, I found a corn field in my area with a skip out. All across the field there was many doubles and skips, but I was more curious on the results of the ears on the corn plant. Research has shown that a properly calibrated meter can increase 4 bushels per acre when a finger style meter is properly calibrated. These types of meters are found in John Deere, Kinze, Great Plains, CNH, and White planters.