I’m in the midst of trade show season which has me travelling back and forth across Western Canada. At each trade show I find myself chatting with farmers about their seeding plans for spring. These conversations have reminded me of the importance of reintroducing yourself to your seeder each year. You need to immerse yourself back into your seeding operation fully, because it’s only going to last four to six weeks and then you’re off to figure out that sprayer that you haven’t looked at since last year.
First off you need to make sure all your hydraulics — the hydraulic cylinders, the fold and the opener cylinders — are all functioning properly with no leaks. Next you need to refresh yourself on how to operate your monitor. You should make sure all the wiring is connected and working. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a tractor cab trying to relearn the monitor when you could be in the field seeding.
Third, you want to make sure you’ve calibrated your metering. It only takes a few minutes and is one of the most simple and effective precision operations you can do. If you don’t take the time, then you run the risk of putting seed and fertilizer down at an incorrect rate — costing you money, yield, or both.
Next you should go through and check all your meters. We’ve seen farmers who don’t do the best job of keeping their meters clean, they’ll leave seed or fertilizer in there over winter, causing their meters to get gummed up and dirty. Gummed up meters don’t turn properly or distribute product right which is a recipe for errors and costly downtime.
And lastly, you’ll want to make sure you go through the entire toolbar and drill itself checking over the hoses. Distribution hoses have a tendency to wear through in the bends. You’ll also need to check all the openers — both the fertilizer and seed knives — for wear. If you find anything is worn out or has holes in it, then call up your local dealership and order the parts you need.
I know over the past few years there’s been lots of supply chain challenges leading to parts shortages and equipment delays. At SeedMaster we’re proud of our track record of on-time delivery while facing these challenges. We’ve taken an aggressive ‘all-hands-on-deck’ team approach and heavy investment in parts and production inventory many months in advance to hit our targets. As a trusted supplier, we want to make sure we don’t cause an interruption to our manufacturing or our dealer parts availability.
I recently was chatting with Frank Tuchscherer at Nelson Motors and Equipment in Radville, Sask. They’ve been carrying SeedMaster drills since 2009 and are impressed by how we handle product supply. He told me he likes that we don’t overbook our lines, so our products are always available when they sell it, making sales easier for them.
We just delivered a new drill to one of Frank’s customers and another two are scheduled for delivery within the next few months. I do have advice for those farmers patiently awaiting delivery of their new SeedMaster drills. You should start preparing now so you can hit the ground running once that new drill is sitting in your yard.
Get your hands on a manual which are available on our website at SeedMaster.ca in advance and familiarize yourself with some of the SeedMaster features that might be different from systems you’ve run in the past. We have some features built into our toolbars that most people don’t realize are there.
You also need to make sure your tractor is ready for your new implement. This new equipment must hook up hydraulically and electronically, so make sure the cab is ready for installation of the new monitor and cabling. When you wait until the very last minute to do this then panic and frustration sets in. But if you have it sorted out beforehand then installation is seamless.
We can’t wait for spring to be here and see your SeedMaster drills rolling across fields. So, take the time now to get ready, just as we are, to make spring seeding easier. And if you see me on the tradeshow floor stop by to chat and make sure you’re ready to go for spring.