Christmas may be over, but Ohio-based crop consultant and blogger Ed Winkle, Martinsville, OH,endorses Santa’s advice when it comes to planter preparations.

“Tear apart the planter today,” he says. “We tore our planter apart three times during all the rain last year, and we found something every time. We knew the planter so well that as soon as we had a breakdown, we knew where it was and how to fix it with no down time. The worst thing you can do is drag the planter out of the barn and try to go plant.”

With that in mind, Winkle shares his planter-prep checklist:

  • Go through each row unit piece by piece.
  • Go through the seeding mechanism, and match the planter to the seed size you’re getting.
  • Go over all stress parts, the frame, wheels and bearings. “You think the part isn’t worn out, but it is. Replace it. You can’t afford to stretch parts too far anymore,” Winkle says.
  • Go through hydraulics with books and gauges.
  • Go through the 12-volt system front to back.
  • Go through electronics, including GPS-related modules and monitors.