Maize for Silage
Technical
Insight 322

MAXIMISING MAIZE PLANTER PERFORMANCE

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To ensure consistently high maize silage and grain yields uniform plant spacing is critical. This Pioneer Technical Insight contains maintenance and planting tips that will help you to achieve the best performance from your maize planter.

ANNUAL PIONEER® SEEDPLANTERCHECKSM

Take the opportunity of having your finger and American made vacuum units checked with this unit prior to planting by contacting your local Pioneer Representative or phone  Pioneer toll-free on 0800 PIONEER (746 633).

FINGER PLANTERS

  • Replace worn plates after planting 400 - 600 hectares or when the wear is observed into the second layer of metal. This will reduce over-planting.
  • Brushes should be replaced annually unless the unit is planting less than 100 hectares in a season.
  • Check clearance between finger holder and wear plate. Ideally this should be 0.015 cm (0.006”). To check clearance, turn the hex nut until it touches the “ashtray” and then turn 1/3 turn (two flats). This does vary amongst finger planters so the use of a feeler gauge for final determination is recommended.
  • Add graphite powder to seed box before filling with seed for each job. Graphite powder is a very helpful dry lubricant and assists all the finger mechanisms to operate smoothly.
  • Replace worn seed-line discs. If the seed-line discs are less than 368 mm (14½ in.) in diameter they should be replaced.
  • Check seed-line disc spacing. The seed-line disc should be within 6 mm (1/4 in.) of each other to avoid uneven seed depth and subsequent variable emergence.
  • Replace any worn sprockets, gears, stiff chains and unit belts.
  • Monitor centre clutch slip. Paint a black or coloured stripe on the fertiliser auger shaft. This will enable any centre clutch slip to be more easily detected.

CHECK MARKER ARMS ARE ADJUSTED FOR CORRECT ROW SPACING - VACUUM PLANTER

  • Use the correct seed disc. Use the regular maize seed disc when planting seed sizes up to 4,480 seeds per kilogram. Use the small disc (if available) for seed sizes with more than 4,480 seeds per kilogram. 
  • Adjust vacuum settings as required. Lower settings decrease seed drop while higher settings increase it.
  • Check for wear on any seed singulators, vacuum seals and metering disks.
  • Add talcum powder to insecticide coated seed when placed in the planter units at the rate of one small cup per bag of seed. Available at your local farm supply store or machinery dealer.  Talcum powder will improve seed flow and plant spacing.
  • Replace worn seed-line discs. If the seed-line discs are less than 368 mm (14½ in.) in diameter they should be replaced.
  • Check seed-line disc spacing. The seed-line disc should be within 6 mm (1/4 in.) of each other to avoid uneven seed depth and subsequent variable emergence.
  • Replace any worn sprockets, gears and stiff chains.
  • Monitor centre clutch slip. Paint a black or coloured stripe on the fertiliser auger shaft. This will enable any centre clutch slip to be more easily detected.

PLANTER TYRE PRESSURE

  • Check manual for correct tyre pressures.
  • Replace worn tyres. A worn tyre changes the diameter of the drive wheel, leading to higher than desired planted populations.

FERTILISER APPLICATION SYSTEM

  • Check for worn fertiliser disc opener mounts. Check for any wear of the casting at the main pivot point. Replace the casting or “bush” the worn components. Wear at this point can allow the disc to place fertiliser too close to the seed resulting in fertiliser burn.
  • Check fertiliser disc opener spacing. Avoid starter fertiliser burn by ensuring that the fertiliser disc openers are at least 65 mm away from the seed-line and are uniformly spaced away from all planter units, especially in light soils.
  • Replace worn fertiliser augers.

Do not exceed recommended maximum starter fertiliser application rates. Avoid applying more than the recommended maximum rates for specific starter fertilisers especially in light soils or in dry conditions.

PRE-PLANTING/IN FIELD

  • Ensure planter units are level when planter is connected to the towing tractor. The tool-bar should be at 56 cm/22 inches +/- 25 mm above the ground.
  • When dry soil conditions prevail, check adequate moisture line in seedbed and ensure seed is planted below that level.
  • Check all units are set at uniform depth of planting.
  • Add talcum powder (one small cup per bag of seed) to insecticide coated seed prior to planting.

PLANTING SPEED

  • Adjust planter ground speed. Take into consideration the following factors: seed size, coated seed, ground and seedbed conditions and the desired planting population. Refer to your planter manual for guidance especially when planting at higher populations.

POST PLANTING TASKS

  • Store planter in implement shed and out of the weather.
  • Remove all residue seed and clean dust from planter finger units.
  • Store metering units in a dry place.
  • Grease pivot points and shaft bearings and oil drive chains.
  • Remove all starter fertiliser from bins and ensure tubes are clean and clear of fertiliser or soil.

SAFETY

  • Ensure all electrical and hydraulic connections are in sound condition.
  • Ensure all road safety lighting is functioning and meets legal standard requirement.
  • Ensure tractor coupling is secure.
  • Ensure safety chain has approved mounting and connectors.
  • Ensure marker arms are secured firmly.
  • Check fertiliser and seed hopper lids are secured for road travel.
  • Apply lifting ram lock prior to road travel.


Pioneer® brand products are provided subject to the terms and conditions of purchasing, which are part of the labeling and purchase documents.

®, SM, Trademarks and service marks of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

The information in this publication is general in nature only. Although the information in this publication is believed to be accurate, no liability (whether as a result of negligence or otherwise) is accepted for any loss of any kind that may arise from actions based on the contents of this publication.

© 2017, Genetic Technologies Limited. No part of this publication can be reproduced without prior written consent from Genetic Technologies Limited.

Revised: June 2015
Expires: June 2018