The seed meter is the heartbeat of the planter. Research from Precision Planting indicates that one per cent singulation accuracy can equal plus or minus two bushels in the field.
On this episode of the RealAgriculture Soybean School, Cullen Tinline, from Kearney Planters, looks at a range of seed meters and offers tips on what growers can do to ensure their meters are running at top efficiency as they head into the 2023 planting season.
Tinline begins with a look at a brush meter that was improperly stored after planting — the plate was left inside the meter. The number one tip for these meters is to always take the plates out, says Tinline. In this case, the plate has left the brush severely matted, but it is standing up nicely. Assessing the plates are next on the checklist. If plates are worn, meter feeding will suffer. In the video, Tinline discusses the availability and cost of meter retrofit kits, which provide a new series of plates and a new centre hub.
Next up, Tinline looks at vacuum meters. These meters are relatively maintenance-free, but he says it’s important to look for wear on the cover and plate. Growers will also need to keep an eye on the seal to ensure it’s supple and flexible; checking for cracks, abrasions and pinches is also recommended. It’s also important that the ejector wheel is in good working order. After the plates have been removed, the seed singulator needs to be inspected for wear, ensuring holes are not being elongated. Tinline notes that this area, as well as the seal, is often full of seed treatment. It’s a good practice to use mild soap and water to clean these up.
In the video, Tinline also offers tips on corn meters, including the finger pickup. Here he focusses on life expectancy of different parts of the meter — the seed brush, finger set and back plate — and the importance of checking belt condition.
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