5 Keys to a Successful Planting Season with your Precision Farming Equipment
The 2018 growing season will soon be here, are you ready? Too many times I have sat in the cab with a grower on the first day of planting only to realize the issue I was fixing could have been resolved in the barnyard. It is no secret that time is of the essence when spring rolls around and being proactive will increase your operations efficiency when the time comes. The following steps can be taken well before you drive into your first field to ensure you start the season on the right foot.
- GPS and Steering
It is always a good practice to check the performance of your steering system before any season. Moving components between machines can affect performance along with the wear of components after time and use. If a device works at the end of a season it’s likely that it will work next season, but it doesn’t guarantee it.
- Variable Rate Maps
Whether you create your own maps or work with a consultant, these files should be loaded into your display before you ever head to the field. Most field computers will allow you to verify the VR maps are correctly loaded while parked in the shed. Having these files on a second memory card in the cab is also a good idea in the event your display goes down and is swapped out mid-season.
- Variable Rate Seed Calibration
Every kernel counts. In my opinion this calibration should be done every year to at least verify that your calibration numbers are still good from the previous season. These calibrations can vary because of component wear as well as operating conditions. This is a simple step to ensure the time, effort, and money you spent on equipment and VR recommendations perform as they should.
- Liquid Fertilizer Calibration
Along with performing a catch test on your 2x2 or pop-up system, there are many other variables that come into play with liquid fertilizer. Plugged filters, worn or kinked hoses, and incorrect orifice sizes are just a few things that can affect the overall performance of your liquid application system.
- Calling the Experts
If your seed is running low, do you know who to call? If you need fuel delivered late because there is a storm coming the next day, what is the first number you dial? Regardless of the situation, it could be worse if you don’t know who to contact. In hopes that you never need it, I challenge you to have a list of contacts in the cab so if something does break, you don’t lose any more time then needed tracking down phone numbers during the season. This will not only help you but also your support team by saving unnecessary calls and getting answers quicker. Be sure to have your Redline Equipment’s location number in your phone. By calling into the location and not individual staff, we can get you to the people who can help you faster. We also have staff scheduled after hours, should an emergency arise during go time.
While planters continue to push the technology limits, it is easy to get frustrated with new bells and whistles. Hopefully these five steps will help keep you from over looking items that have become very common across todays farming operations.
We here at Redline are ready to overcome the challenges with you that 2018 may present. We continue to strive to earn your business, and for that we thank you.
Arik Witker is a sought-after mind in precision farming, having provided proven technology solutions to famers for more than a decade. He leads our precision farming team as the Precision Farming Manager. His satisfaction comes from seeing customers get results from their precision investment. Outside of work, Arik continues to serve our country as he has for the last 16 years in the Army National Guard. Arik prefers to be outdoors, enjoys snowmobiling and spending time with his wife Angela and two children Dane and Chloe.