Keep the Six-Bushel Boost
Don’t overlook your Keeton Seed Firmers when you do your annual planter inspection and maintenance.
To get the full “six-bushel” boost from your Firmers, they must retain the correct shape and right amount of tension.
Conduct these simple tests to determine the effectiveness of your Firmers.
#1 Visual Test
Because Firmers conform to the shape of the seed trench, some Firmers develop a sharp or pointed bottom after a period of time. That changes the way the seed is firmed. Carefully examine the bottom of the Seed Firmer, if you see a change in the shape of the bottom, it’s time to replace them. Also, look at the side of the Firmer. The Firmer should have a long curve along the bottom side. If the Firmer looks flat – or has lost height – then the firming angle has changed and it is time to replace it.
#2 Tension Test
Adequate Seed Firmer tension is critical to properly firming seed to the bottom of the seed trench. The tension screw, if equipped, can be adjusted to increase or decrease the amount
of down pressure. Too little tension can result in seeds not being properly firmed to the bottom
of the trench. And too much tension, especially in sandy soils can result in accelerated wear.
For new Firmers always follow the installation instructions.
To test the tension of your Keeton Seed Firmers, place the planter units on a level surface.
(1) Attach a small hanging scale to the Firmer.
(2) Lift until the Firmer just comes off the ground.
(3) Tighten the tension screw, if equipped, until it takes 20 ounces (1-1/4 lbs.) to raise the Firmer.
(4) A quick check is to lift the Firmer tail about two inches and release. You should hear a solid “whack” as the Firmer snaps back to the ground. If the whack seems lackluster, tighten the tension screw, if equipped, and try again. If the adjustment isn’t sufficient, or if the Firmer doesn’t have a tension screw it is time to replace the Firmers.
As a rule of thumb, adjust the tension screw, if equipped, at least one full revolution after
each year of use.
#3 Replace Firmers when Replacing Opening Disks
Your disk openers are a great indicator of Firmer wear life. They operate in the same soil conditions and Firmers will actually wear to take on the shape of the “V” created by the disk openers. So it is a great rule of thumb, “Replace Firmers when you replace opening disks.”
Keep in mind that most of us don’t replace disk openers as often as needed. If opening disk diameter measures less than 14.5” across, or if you can slide a business card between them, the disk openers need replacing.
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