4 Tips to Finish Strong

- Jason Kaeb

After weeks of running non-stop and filling customer orders, you’re finally done … or so you think. I challenge you to not just shut the seed treater down and ignore it for eight months, even though that’s exactly what you feel like doing. A little more work at the end of the season can go a long way in helping you prepare for a successful season the following year.

I have found four simple steps that can help you finish strong, if you just spend a half day to a day to complete.

Clean all seed treatment equipment. This is one of the most neglected parts of the process, but it’s one of the most important in making sure your equipment is ready to run next season. This includes flushing the lines and valves of any remaining fluids.

Inspect all seed treatment equipment. After a hard season of use, there are some high-wear parts, such as the flaps, valves, pump hoses and bearings, that could be worn out and need to be replaced. I also encourage you to sign up and participate in a service maintenance plan, like you would for your furnace or fireplace and chimney. It’s a relatively inexpensive service that can be of huge value and keep your equipment running when you need it most.

Properly handle any leftover treatment or treated seed. It’s critical to follow local codes and best management practices to store any unused treatment for the following season and to dispose of any leftover treated seed. The latest guidelines provided by the American Seed Trade Association and CropLife America are available at http://seed-treatment-guide.com/.

Make a list and identify what went well and what needs to go better next year. There is no better time of the year to reflect on the past few weeks than immediately after the season. What went according to plan? What did not? It’s possible that in the summer, the manufacturer can resolve any issue that occurred. However, if you wait until the following March to begin thinking about your treater again, you’ll likely forget what the exact issues were. Give yourself a chance to make adjustments that will help make a hectic treating season as easy and efficient as it can be.

I like to think of the seed-treating season like football season. The Kansas City Chiefs, or any other team, wouldn’t go into the season without having either taken the time to practice and prepare, nor would the coaches just walk away after the last game. They take time to reflect, troubleshoot and make adjustments with the hopes of an even better next season. It’s the same for us.