Seven Steps for a Successful Treating Season

- Jason Kaeb

We’re a month into the new year, and anyone who takes planning ahead seriously is already planning to have a successful treating season. Of course, there is more to this than meets the eye. There’s a lot to consider in terms of your equipment. I have a lot of experience in this area, and I’ve learned seven steps to ensure you have a successful treating season ahead of you.

  1. Take advantage of manufacturers’ service and maintenance plans, if available. This is generally done in the off-season so this needs to be planned for a year in advance. A stitch in time saves nine, and a little maintenance right now can save you major headaches (and downtime) down the road.
  1. Be prepared with correct equipment. There’s nothing more damaging to your business than to suffer downtime because you lack a crucial tool to help you in the process of treating seed.
  1. Scale certification. Ensure you arrange for a qualified scale technician to do this. Failure to do this could result in a stop scale and not being able to deliver seed to your customer.
  1. Operator review — training videos/webinars. Your operators should be up to date on the latest standards in equipment operation and safety. Get any new operators involved in face-to-face training with the equipment manufacturer, if possible.
  1. Data entry. Customers, seed varieties, treatment items and recipes should all be kept track of in your database software, which should be up-to-date and searchable. Proper software will save you time and money.
  1. Do a trial run. Run all equipment and inspect for any issues (torn belts, electronic failures, etc.) well in advance of needing to deliver or treat seed. Process some early runs to ensure that all equipment is operating correctly.
  1. Equipment calibration. Calibrate any needed equipment to ensure accuracy. This step may need to be done more than once throughout the season (as often as daily for some equipment).

A lot of time and money is on the line, and these basic checks are easy to do and will save you serious problems in the long run.

Remember: Being ready and prepared when your first customer calls you asking to deliver or treat seed for them is very important, and these seven steps will go a long way in helping you be ready for that.