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Planning Ahead for Planting Season

Trends in planter tech and equipment availability

Planning Ahead for Planting Season

Trends in planter tech and equipment availability

Published on 3/28/2023

With the 2023 planting season coming into view and already in motion in some states, producers are focused on planter maintenance, repairs and evaluating other upgrades to ensure their equipment is field-ready this spring.

“Given current market conditions, the main consideration for planter upgrades in 2023 is time,” says Chris Schimke, an AgDirect territory manager in South Dakota and Nebraska. “If you’re looking for new planters its likely going to be 2024 before it gets manufactured. High quality used planters are available and are likely your best option.”

Of course, with demand for new planters currently exceeding supply, quality used planters are also in high demand, creating additional pricing pressure and competition in the marketplace.

A majority of used planters hit the auction market each year between December and March. According to Schimke, many producers are opting to pay cash for their auction purchases, however financing activity remains strong.

Across other equipment buying avenues including dealerships and private party purchases, Schimke says the most noticeable financing trend is producers opting for a 72 or 84 month term rather than the 36 or 60 month terms most buyers are accustomed to due to price increases.

Latest in planter tech

“Another consideration is whether to upgrade your current planter with the latest technology,” says Schimke. “This may be the most cost-effective method of upgrading, but again time is a factor as the shops that install these upgrades are experiencing heavy workloads and parts availability can be limited due to demand.”

Variable-rate technology at the individual row level, for example, continues to be an area of interest for producers looking to maximize yields and their machinery investments. Others have added the capability to apply more than just seed and fertilizer with their planter pass.

“The planting window is limited, so the more you can accomplish with the planter pass the better,” Schimke says. “Technology enables producers to divide their fields into smaller zones than before, making it possible to manage each zone more intensively, not only through population but also with multiple hybrids and variable rate fertilizer application.”

All of the major equipment manufacturers now offer some variation of the “speed tube” which allows for planting speeds of 10 mph or more, as well as adjustable row cleaners, hydraulic downforce and adjustable furrow closing technology. These products all focus on optimizing accurate seed placement and furrow closing with the intent of achieving even emergence.

When it comes to planter technology the sky is the limit, but Schimke points out many times a planter doesn’t need a complete retrofit.

“Only add the upgrades that will provide the outcomes you are looking for, and if you choose to upgrade instead of buying new, make sure your current toolbar is up to the task,” he advises. “It’s also a good idea to start the process early and consult with your trusted advisors, such as your equipment dealer or agronomist, to determine which technologies best fulfill your needs.”

“AgDirect offers a wide array of loans and leases on new and used planters, drills, air seeders, air carts and more with terms ranging from 2 to 7 years,” Schimke adds. “No matter where you buy planting equipment, we can match payments to you cashflow with a variety of lease options, or lower the overall cost of ownership with a loan that retains trade equity.”

Apply online, check rates, quote payments and compare options with the free AgDirect Mobile application, or learn more about AgDirect equipment financing by locating your nearest AgDirect territory manager or contact the AgDirect financing team at 888-525-9805.

Learning Center

Agriculture is constantly evolving, which is why AgDirect® works to help you make the right decision for your operation when it comes to financing your next tractor, combine or other ag equipment.


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