What Is Drill Seeding?
Drill seeding performed is a method of putting seed in soil using a mechanical system to create holes. The seed is placed at a predetermined depth and covered with soil. The system allows the operator to regulate the depth and rate of application. It is ideal for large, leveled areas, and is a relatively inexpensive method of erosion control. Drill seeders also require no wood or fiber to create the holes and can therefore be used on larger areas.
Seed is metering out in precise weight and volume from the drill, so the volume of seed is crucial. To choose the correct seeding rate, you should know the weight of seed per bushel and the number of seeds per pound. Also, you should know the target seeding rate in pounds per acre and the depth at which to seed. Table 1 shows typical values for different cover crops and forage types. Keep in mind, though, that seed sizes may vary wildly from one seed lot to the next, so the calibration process should account for this.
A replicated study of two former arable fields in Iowa found that drill seeding did not increase the number of native warm-season grasses, while broadcast seeding increased the numbers of weeds. In four of ten comparisons, drill seeded areas exhibited lower diversity in non-native plant species, while sown plots exhibited higher plant cover and diversity. In the third study, researchers used the same method to determine whether drill seeding was more effective for reducing non-native plant species.
Although drilling is an excellent method of planting seeds, it requires a good deal of accuracy. Proper calibration of the equipment is critical to a successful establishment. Incorrect calibration of seed drill equipment can result in uneven seed placement, reducing yields and weed competition. Furthermore, improper seed placement can cost a lot of money. The best option is to experiment with the depth of seed before settling on a final decision. This way, you can determine whether or not drill seeding is the best option for your situation.
No-till and conventional drills each have a number of moving parts. Each brand and model of conventional drills has its own key features and design elements. No-till drills have a rolling coulter that cuts a hole through the soil. A double-disk opener helps the coulter open wider. Alternatively, conventional drills do not require a coulter assembly. No-till drills can be used on either tilled or residue-covered soil.
The drilling process is similar to conventional drilling for grazing. In both methods, seeds are broadcast into the seedbed. Native grasses have a special hopper box. In order to avoid the loss of seeds in a drill, make sure to buy a metering unit with a small seed box. For warm season grasses, check whether your drill can plant seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep in a firm seedbed.
The depth adjustment system is similar to that of a row crop planter, but a no-till drill requires fewer down pressure. The depth adjustment of a no-till drill is less accurate, but depth control is still possible by moving clips or adjusting a depth rod on the gauge-press wheel assembly. Generally, depth control bands are used to adjust the depth of the seed placement. A single-disk opener can run at a desired depth of seed.
During the process of drill seeding, clear the area of any debris. Once the area is prepared, till the soil to loosen it. Then, roll the soil lightly to prevent erosion. If there are any areas where water may pool, grade these areas so that water will flow away from buildings. When the seeding is complete, the seedlings should have the correct root depth to reach their full growth potential. If a drill seeder cannot reach the desired depth, then the procedure must be repeated at a different angle.
During the establishment of a forage, no-till seeding is an ideal way to restore pastures and restore soil quality. It does not require much tillage after harvesting the previous crop, such as corn, soybeans, or small grains. In addition to saving hay and fuel, no-till seeding also helps maintain the desirable sod grasses. It is also an effective way to renovate pastures.