Get Your Equipment Ready: Preparing for Planting Cotton
Cotton farmers generally begin the planting season by late April in most places around the United States, though that can vary slightly from region to region. At the start of each season, it’s important for all cotton farmers, no matter the size of their operation, to make sure their equipment is ready to get the job done as efficiently as possible, and to engage in thorough planning to aid in that process.
Here are some of the things to consider at the start of each cotton planting season.
Take care of all the basic maintenance issues for your planting equipment early in the season, before you actually get out into the fields. Double check all the bearings, discs, vacuum systems, chains and plates on your planters to make sure none of them are damaged and that everything is in good working order. If you do have any cotton picker parts that are damaged or have some significant wear and tear on them, then it’s important to replace them as soon as possible, before you begin planting. This will help ensure you complete the planting process with efficiency and precision.
Be sure to check the seed tubes. In some cases, these can get plugged up as a result of a buildup of debris and insects. Take whatever steps are necessary to make sure those delivery tubes are clean, allowing for a free flow of seeds. Otherwise you run the risk of not getting the seeds planted with the proper distribution, which could make for a poor crop.
Analyze the fields
Before you begin planting, you should perform a careful and thorough assessment of each field. The variations in the soil and moisture can affect how you adjust your planter. It’s important to have a good seed-to-moist-soil contact level, especially in the zone immediately surrounding the seed you plant. If there’s too much dry soil that gets removed from the planting zone, then there’s a good chance you could experience some hard crust forming behind the planter, especially if you’re dealing with environmental challenges such as wind, high temperatures and low humidity that already dry out the soil.
This isn’t as much of an issue with today’s planters as it used to be, but it’s still something you’re going to want to take into consideration. You can adjust by making sure the soil is properly moist at about a couple inches deep. Otherwise you’ll find it harder to get a good planting for the year.
Another environmental consideration to keep in mind is the temperature of the soil at the time of your planting. A good standard is to look for a soil temperature of 65 degrees at about four inches below the surface.
For more information about what you should analyze before you begin the process of planting your cotton and how you can prepare your equipment and ensure you have all the necessary cotton picker parts for the process, we encourage you to contact the experts at Certi-Pik, USA today!