Original article by Dennis Hancock, published by Progressive Forage Grower, July 22, 2016
Late summer means the fall planting season is upon us. In the coming weeks, hundreds of thousands of acres will be planted. Here are some key considerations to help ensure your plantings are successful and cost-effective.
Clean and prep
Those who grew up on a farm probably were forced to develop an appreciation for the importance of hitting every grease fitting and lubing every chain. On a drill, that is a good start, but there are a lot of other parts that need attention, too. Almost always, at least one of the drop tubes or feed cups will be clogged (See Figures 1 and 2). Spiders seem to have an affinity for drop tubes. Loosen the clamps and pull the drop tubes. Use compressed air or something similar to blow out the tubes. Test that it is clear of obstruction with little wads of paper.
It is also common that the previous user failed to clean out the hopper or metering units. This is especially common if one is using a rented or borrowed drill. Use a vacuum or compressed air to clear the hopper and feed cups of any foreign material.