Tips for Planter Checks this Spring
April 21, 2017
No one needs to be convinced that the condition of their planter can have a huge impact on yields. Each spring, it can be helpful to review some of the fundamental components of a Deere row unit. Let’s look at a couple aspects that can be crucial to seed placement and depth.
One question we are often asked concerning opener blades is: What diameter should Tru-Vee openers be? The ‘by the book’ answer is that opener blades should be replaced when they are 14 inches or less. When new, they measure 15 inches. However, there’s a qualifier to that: Tru-Vee openers require adjustment as they wear. In order to form a good seed furrow and to cut trash, the blades must touch together for approximately two inches where they will contact soil.
This adjustment requires removing the openers and re-shimming them. The amount of labor involved in installing new openers or re-shimming worn openers is about the same. In between the two openers in front of the seed tube is the seed tube guard. It maintains proper spacing between the disk blades. It also prevents opener blades from contacting seed tube sides, and reduces soil buildup on the blades. The seed tube guard should measure at least 17mm.
While you have the gauge wheels off, it’s a good time to check your gauge wheel arms especially where they contact the rocker for excessive wear. If the gauge wheel arms are worn, they can be swapped side to side. If the rocker shows excessive wear, it should be replaced. Inspect the gauge wheel tire and bearing. The tire helps make the furrow by slightly firming the soils on either side of the trench. When the gauge wheel arms are adjusted correctly, the face of the tire should slightly contact the opener blade. The tire should have a visible lip. It’s this lip that helps in firming the trench, so you need to replace the tire if the lip is worn or damaged
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