Spring is right around the corner. And that means we move into an even busier mode on the farm. While it can be a stressful time and season, we so look forward to the sunny days, warm weather, and trusting our faith in planting seed in the land we steward.
Planting is not as fast-paced as harvest is and it doesn’t take as large of a crew, but nonetheless it still takes 2-3 people, sometimes 4. We have to ensure the planter is running smoothly, seed, fertilizer, and fuel are tended timely, and parts are able to be picked up quickly when needed. Someone usually delivers food to the field too to make sure the boys (Jacob and Ben) stay energized and focused too. 😉
The boys have been working on the planter and tractor in our shop for the last couple of months already in order to be prepared for planting. We are adding some new features and parts to our planter to help increase efficiency and effectiveness. And if everything works correctly, these upgrades will hopefully give us an increase in bushels come harvest time. More bushels = more income, which is appreciated given the insane increase in input costs and expenses for 2022. (We’re definitely feeling the increase in fuel prices, too – so maybe a future post is warranted to explain the increase in agricultural costs and how it affects our farm?) 😉
We purchased our planter tractor, a John Deere 8520T, last year for 2021 planting. We also use it as our grain cart tractor during harvest. It was an upgrade for us, and we are grateful for it, but the boys need to fix a few things and perform general maintenance on it so it is in tip-top shape for the field! While they work on the exterior of the tractor and the engine, I’ve made a job for myself in recent years that I can do to help prepare for planting. Cleaning the cab interior!
I’ll be honest, these tractors can get nasty during the busy seasons. Typically when you get in it, you don’t really leave it until the season is done. It only gets parked for a few hours late at night or during a rain day when we can’t be in the fields. Generally stuff accumulates because we don’t have much of a chance to clean it out when we’re in business. And to top it off, the air conditioner didn’t work in this tractor last year so it was HOT for Jacob and Ben. To help stay cool, they would open the back window to allow some air flow which welcomed in a nice, thick layer of dust.
So, I figured before planting comes around, I wanted to get the interior cleaned out. I started by throwing away all of the garbage. As I was doing this, there was a roll of shop towels that I had lifted up that appeared to have been chewed through, so I was seriously afraid I would come across a mouse! But thankfully, I did not. Ha!
After the trash, I put all of the tools, gloves, sunglasses, etc. in a bucket so they were all in one place for the boys to sort through before deciding what to put back in the tractor. Then the big thing was vacuuming the seats and floors! That made a huge difference in and of itself. I used the air compressor to blow the dust out of all the cracks and crevices, then did an intense wipe down of everything with Lysol. Next, I cleaned the interior windows and seats and used Armor All wipes to make everything shine. I normally would clean the floor with warm water and Dawn dish soap (the only thing I’ve found that gets grease out!), but Jacob said they would be going in and out of the cab a lot over the next week so it wouldn’t pay to scrub the floor.
So much better!
My finishing touch included a fresh Wyffels Hybrids air freshener. It really does make a difference! And I love these because they look like the bags of seed corn we sell. 🙂
Before they hook the tractor onto the planter, we will give the exterior a nice wash and then knowing Jacob, he will want to polish it too, so it looks nice out in the field. 😉 Performing general maintenance and taking care of our equipment is incredibly important to us on our farm. Keeping the interior of the cab and the exterior clean and well-maintained helps equipment last longer and run better.
I think all of us at HyTest Ag (Jacob & myself and Ben & Jess) are getting the itch to get in the field. It will come in good time, but we definitely embrace the planting season because of the promise it brings!
Jess and I are planning content that includes spring cleaning tips for your home, car, and more so make sure to subscribe to Rural Soul below so you don’t miss out!
Rooted in ag and led by faith,