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To ensure the safest, most efficient planting season possible, tuning up farm machinery can be as important as scouting for weeds, tilling the soil or other spring field operations, a Purdue Extension specialist says.
Robert Stwalley, assistant clinical professor of agricultural and biological engineering, urged producers to get a jump start on vehicle maintenance.
“Early preparation for spring planting is time well-invested,” he said. “Instead of wishing for sunnier days and warmer weather, the wise farmer uses the gray and cold times to be ready to hit the fields running when the seasons change.”
Well-maintained equipment is also much safer than equipment in disrepair. Stwalley offered these tips for keeping farm machinery in good working order:
“Seed delivery mechanisms, fertilizer applicators, herbicide nozzles and insecticide distributors are delicate pieces of equipment that perform critical operations during planting season,” Stwalley said. “Work across each row and through all applicators on the planter, and treat seed metering and dispensing assemblies as if they were a high-performance carburetor or delicate pocket watch.”
“Modern planting equipment is filled with electronics,” he said. “Precision agriculture requires massive amounts of data, and only good data is worth collecting. Bad data makes things hard to manage and is sometimes difficult to spot. You can’t fix bad data after the fact.”
Source: Purdue University
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