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Get jump-start on farm equipment maintenance

By JERRY LITTLE

Ag Notes

It may feel like spring will never truly arrive, but it will. It’s a good idea to go ahead and get started on your farm equipment maintenance. Doing the repairs now can save time and aggravation later.

If you need to order parts, go ahead and do it now to reduce the likelihood of delays during the critical spring days ahead.

When you check equipment, pay particular attention to rubber components, as these will sometimes become brittle and cracked during the winter.

Check implements for broken, missing or worn parts you may need to replace. Go over the machinery and tighten bolts, nuts and cap screws. Pump fresh grease into fittings to remove any condensation that may have formed in the winter. Apply touch up paint to any rusted or scratched areas.

On planters make sure moveable parts are not stuck. Also check for wear and replace any overly worn parts.

Electrical problems can lead to time-consuming breakdowns. Now is the time to check for loose connections, frayed or broken wires and repair broken gauges, lights and switches.

Remember to include sprayer maintenance in your winter cleaning tasks, ensuring that your spray equipment is ready for the planting season; it could save you time and money.

If you take care of sprayer maintenance prior to the hectic growing season, it can prevent time-consuming equipment breakdowns, higher chemical costs, reduced pesticide effectiveness and potential crop damage. Rinse out the sprayer to remove any dirt that accumulated over the winter. Check the pump and nozzles for excessive wear and be sure the pump is operating at full capacity. Inspect sprayer lines for leaks.

Clean filter screens and replace worn ones in the sprayer and in tractors. You’ll need to ensure they are not restricting air flow. Replace fuel filters as they age and become clogged.

Be sure to consult your operator’s manual on tractors and other equipment for additional maintenance instructions.

For more information on farm maintenance practices, contact the Boyle County Extension Office.

Jerry Little is the Boyle County extension agent for Agriculture/Natural Resources.