Farm Talk

Crops

December 10, 2013

Cleaning, maintenance extends machinery life

Parsons, Kansas — Farm machinery care, such as proper cleaning, maintenance and storage not only increases equipment reliability and performance, it can also improve resale value.

Farmers who properly winterize farm equipment will be rewarded with a reduction in start-up time next spring.

Winter storage considerations include:

•Be sure to change the oil and perform regular service. Clean engine oil will reduce internal engine corrosion during storage. Clean or replace air filters, replace fuel filters and lubricate bearings and joints to maximize the life and efficiency of your machinery.

Check antifreeze for correct freezing temperature. Remember that antifreeze, like engine oil, has a lifespan. Adding more coolant may not be enough to fully protect your investment.

Inflate tires to recommended pressure to reduce sidewall damage. Before storing tillage implements remove soil and apply appropriate rust preventive material, then store with soil engaging components raised or on blocks to prevent rust. Hydraulic cylinders should not be stored fully extended. If temperatures increase, hydraulic oil will be confined and high pressure may cause damage to the hydraulic system.

All planters, drills, air seeders and combines need to be cleaned out. Be sure all grain and plant material left in the grain tank and augers is removed.

This will reduce rusting and make it less attractive to mice and other pests. It is sometimes possible to remove more than a bushel of grain even after a combine seems to be clean. Trapped grain attracts rodents, who often then make a meal of electrical wiring, leading to short circuits or other electrical problems. Reduce tension on belts to reduce stretch and increase belt life. Be sure to follow storage instructions in the operator's manual for removing seed plates and other components to relieve pressure on seals, brushes, and seed plates. This will minimize warping and misshaped air seals and seed plates. Remove soil from all furrow openers to reduce rust and improve performance next season.

Balers need to have any partial bales and all plant material removed to minimize rusting. Follow the operator's manual for instructions on reducing pressure on baler belts or other components. Compressed air is a great way to clean hard to reach places and may be a better choice than water. When water is needed to clean surfaces, use only moderate pressure and mild soap.

Cleaning farm equipment with a power washer is great for removing dust and soil. Be careful, however, and avoid direct contact with seals when using high-pressure washers. Use compressed air after washing to help dry surfaces, and operate machinery for 10 to 20 minutes to help shed excess water from hard to reach places. Repaint worn surfaces with spray paint to protect from corrosion.

Proper battery storage can protect batteries from deterioration. Even a small current drain can eventually discharge batteries and cause them to freeze in cold weather. Consider removing batteries to convenient storage where they can receive a periodic charge.

Clean all connections and coat terminals with a thin layer of grease to prevent corrosion.

Where possible, store equipment in a building. If a building is not available, at least cover equipment with a well secured tarp. This will always improve equipment performance and resale value. £

1
Text Only
Crops
  • To store corn or not to store corn, that is the question

    The majority of annually produced crops such as corn obviously have to be stored. For corn producers, the question at harvest time will be who will store the portion of the crop which has not yet been sold?

    July 29, 2014

  • Scientists complete chromosome based draft of wheat genome

    Several Kansas State University researchers were essential in helping scientists assemble a draft of a genetic blueprint of bread wheat, also known as common wheat. The food plant is grown on more than 531 million acres around the world and produces nearly 700 million tons of food each year.
    The International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium, which also includes faculty at Kansas State University, recently published a chromosome-based draft sequence of wheat's genetic code, which is called a genome. "A chromosome-based draft sequence of the hexaploid bread wheat genome" is one of four papers about the wheat genome that appear in the journal Science.

    July 22, 2014

  • Drought & poor wheat harvest in Kan. has effects on nat’l economy

    The Kansas wheat harvest may be one of the worst on record — and the loss doesn't just hurt Kansas, according to a Kansas State University expert.

    July 15, 2014

  • Watch for corn leaf diseases

    In general, corn in southeast Kansas looks about as healthy as any reasonable producer might hope.

    July 1, 2014

  • Consider wind when applying herbicides

    Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension in Barton County, scouted fields west of Lockwood on June 18 for the crop scouting program.

    June 24, 2014

  • WheatTour-007.jpg SW Mo. wheat tour yields nutrient tips

    Laying down nitrogen on the wheat fields is quite possibly one of the most complex and critical operations facing producers.

    June 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • Corn planting nears completion, early condition good

    With corn planting nearly complete and emergence keeping pace with the five-year average, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its first forecast for the condition of the 2014 U.S. corn crop.

    June 10, 2014

  • Harvesting short wheat

    In many areas of Kansas, prolonged drought has resulted in short wheat and thin stands. Harvesting wheat in these situations can be a challenge.

    June 3, 2014

  • Controlling large weeds in Roundup Ready soybeans

    Controlling large weeds is often considerably more difficult than controlling smal-ler weeds. The following are some suggestions for controlling larger troublesome weeds in soybeans.

    May 28, 2014

  • aflatoxin-corn.jpg Aflatoxin risk looms large for corn growers

    To diversify their farms and tap into high demand for one of agriculture’s most profitable crops, dryland farmers more familiar with growing wheat and milo are eager to try their hand at corn.

    May 21, 2014 1 Photo

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Seasonal Content