by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL
Winter is the time to get your planter meters inspected and tested so you are ready to go for spring. We can run your meters on a modern test stand and check for doubles, skips, and misplaced seeds. Our test runs are 1000 seeds per run and we require 3 consecutive tests of 99.7% or better performance for a passing grade. It might not pass due to several factors. It could be worn parts, a misaligned double eliminator, improperly adjusted hub setting, or a myriad of other factors. The test stand allows us to find the “why” behind the problem. We will then contact you about the recommended changes and get your approval to make these repairs. Most times John Deere Pro Max meters don’t need a tremendous amount of parts to get them ready to roll. Of course, all of this is dependent upon how the meter has been cared for and how long it has been since it was last checked over. The only way to know is to put them on a test stand and have them checked out. Emerged corn is not the time to discover an issue with your meters so have them tested. The planter is a system of different components working together and the meter, while being the heartbeat, is not the only item that can cause issues if not properly maintained. Your entire planter including the row units, frame, drive system, delivery system, air system, etc. should all be inspected to insure that you are ready to go when mother nature decides to cooperate. If you do take your meters to get inspected make sure to take your seed that you are going to plant this year along with it to the dealership.
Another item to get squared away now is your data collection system and autotrac monitor. Download all of the data from the monitor and make sure that it is safely backed up. Remove the data from the monitor and install any available software updates. These are usually released by John Deere in Mid-February. Now you should re-load any setup data with all of your farms, fields, and varieties. Don’t forget to also load in the CORRECT dimensions of the tractor and the planter so your clutches will shut off correctly.