ReachOut: Sharpening the Ax

ReachOut: Sharpening the Ax from Central Valley Ag on Vimeo.

Mike Zwingman

Mike Zwingman

I want to do a little equipment dreaming here today.  A little “what I want for Christmas,” which really isn’t all that far off.  It’s gorgeous out there today though, so if there are yet things to be done outside, by all means, stop reading this article right now and go do those first things first.  Like getting your dry fertilizer put down.  That light won’t last forever!  I’ll be here when you get back…

Now, back to the dreaming.

It’s been a while since I’ve written about your planter—one of my favorite topics—and while I might be tackling this a bit early, I doubt it’s ever too early to talk about the most critical piece of machinery you own.  If you’re going to really fuss over any piece of equipment, your planter is the one.  It’s the implement that must do things most precisely and the one that needs to be right on from the first try.

So if you’re thinking about trading equipment this winter, take a look at your planter.

Like a computer or IKEA closet system, your planter is the sum of its parts.  The bar and frame of the row units are the basic pieces.  Everything else—the row cleaners, the drive train, the seed placement tools, meters, seed tubes, down force, closing system, and monitor—is interchangeable, like a stereo.  And sure, you could go buy one off the shelf, but you could also visit the store and let them build you one so kickin’ that listening to your AC/DC album makes you feel like you’re on the For Those About to Rock tour in ‘97.

If you’ve been considering a new planter, but figured that you’d just go select one off the lot, consider that the solutions that original equipment manufacturers pose might not be the right ones for you.  Sure the manufacturer wants to do right by you, but also by your neighbor and your uncle and the dude down the road…anyone who might happen to buy things that the manufacturer makes.  Customizing means that you don’t have to settle.  You can develop the system that you specifically need.

Here at Central Valley Ag, we have three equipment specialists, Colton, Chris, and Roger.  They’re our own little Geek Squad and their equipment solutions are part engineer, part McGuyver, part Bob the Builder.  Talk with them before you trade or buy, regardless of the brand you have or want because yes, they do have solutions to your problems.  Want a smoother drive train to meter seed more accurately?  Or a seed tube with less bounce?  Want to alleviate sidewall compaction?  Get down pressure right?  Achieve better singluation at higher populations?  No prob.

Having a planter that performs how you need it and want it to is important.  You wouldn’t hire somebody you knew didn’t have the skills and know how to do a job—you shouldn’t buy a planter you know doesn’t do everything you need and want.  Getting your planter right means precision and timeliness for your operation.  It means feeling good after spending 500 acres in the cab.  It means a stand that you’re happy to live with for the season.Blue Box

So right now: right now get out and make the most of the good weather.  Then come back in and start dreaming, start plotting, start talking and spend this winter building the planter you’ve always wanted.  Abraham Lincoln said that if you gave him two hours to chop down a tree, he’d take an hour first to sharpen his ax.  Well friends, you’ll have more than two hours to plant your fields, but President Lincoln gives good advice anyhow: take these few months to sharpen your tools, and you might actually enjoy planting in the spring!