Spring pasture renewal using a seed drill

seed drill repairs

Introducing seed into a damaged pasture by direct drilling with a seed drill can improve damaged pastures and increase the density of the productive species. Pastures that had been oversown following winter pugging have been shown to produce more dry matter over a two year period than pasture that had not been resown.
The aim of a direct seed drill is to place the seed directly in the residues of the previous crop with minimal soil disruption. This can have a number of advantages with varying degrees of significance depending on the conditions.  By maintaining a living plant cover, the biological health of the soil is maintained and protected from wind and rain erosion. Direct drilling also saves germination moisture by leaving the soil undisturbed and protecting against evaporation. This can be particularly important as temperature rise as summer begins.
It can be difficult however be difficult to oversown by direct drilling into pugged ground that has a rough surface. The uneven surface makes it difficult to achieve good seed placement and coverage. Direct drilling is often done following harrowing (link back to harrow repairs I will add this in your services area somewhere)  to level the paddock and will improve the consistency of depth with which the seed is sown at. Direct drilling can be particularly effective when there is a large amount of bare ground for seedlings to establish.
A firm seedbed greatly improves pasture establishment, particularly for clover. Seedbed consolidation conserves moisture and allows a seed drill to achieve the right sowing depth. A consolidated seed bed is critical to allow good depth control with a seed drill. In a soft seedbed wheel tracks are pushed down, and coulter depths vary, leading to both uneven sowing depth and establishment. The same effects can occur when drilling too fast, causing uneven sowing depth. This can be achieved by using a roller (link back to your products section roller)
Some other things to consider:

  • Drilling method is a critical decision when establishing a new permanent pasture.
  • The use of harrows behind the drill will improve seed to soil contact.
  • Allow new pasture to reach the 2.5-3 leaves stage before grazing.
  • Plan and prepare for success. Addresses any limiting factors such as drainage, soil fertility, pests and weeds.

Maintenance and repairs of your seed drill.

A maintenance plan including checking and lubricating the drill including the drives and chains. Replacement of seed ejection tubes for restrictions and or blockages. Replace any tubes that have cracks and are eroding.  Making sure the seed and fertiliser hoppers are clean and free from rust flakes.  These should be cleaned daily during use. Make sure row spacings are accurate and equal. Check disc furrow openers are clean and unrestricted.

Safety Checks

For safety make sure all guards are in place. Always lower the drill and stop the tractor before lubricating or maintaining your drill. Shift tractor to a low gear when operating the drill over rough terrain. Never allow anyone other than the driver in the tractor when operating or transporting the drill. Before filling the drill, make sure it is properly attached to the tractor to avoid drill tipping.
See Reptec for service of cultivation equipment, hoses and parts.
Some other great resources:
Rollers (I am going to leave this one as we actually did this back in November but keep in mind this is still doing its work for you and we are still promoting the rollers in adverts)
The roller is an agricultural tool used for flattening land or breaking up large clumps of soil, especially after ploughing or disc harrowing.
The greatest benefit from land rolling comes from being able to improve harvest efficiency. Land rolling allows farmers to harvest closer to the surface. Land rolling also helps smooth out the paddock for subsequent operations like spraying.
Rollers prepare optimal seedbeds by making them as flat as is practical and moderately firmed. Flatness is important at planting because it is the only practical way to control average seed planting depth. Breaking up of even small lumps, and well-levelled spreading of soil, is important at planting time.
Flatter land also makes weed control and harvesting easier. For example, in mechanical weed control, controlling cultivator tooth depth is practical only with a decently flat soil contour, and in combining, controlling combine head height is practical only with a decently flat soil contour.
Rolling is also believed to help reduce moisture loss from cultivated soil and may be trailed after other equipment such as ploughsdisc harrows, or mowers.
See Reptec Rollers
Harrows: (Put this one off till late august)
In cooler climates the most common types are the disc harrow, the chain harrow, the tine harrow or spike harrow and the spring tine harrow.
Tine harrows are used to refine seed-bed condition before planting, to remove small weeds in growing crops and to loosen the inter-row soils to allow for better water soakage.
Chain harrowing can be used on pasture to spread out dung, and to break up dead material
Disc Harrows are used to till the soil where crops are to be planted. It is also used to chop up unwanted weeds or crop remainders. Discs are usually carbon or alloy discs, which are concave shaped with varying blade sizes and are arranged into two sections or four sections. The discs are also offset so that they are not parallel with the overall direction of the implement. This arrangement ensures that the discs will repeatedly slice any ground to which they are applied. The concavity of the discs as well as their offset angle causes them to loosen and lift the soil that they cut.
spring-tooth harrow uses many flexible iron teeth mounted in rows to loosen the soil before planting. It is used to smooth the ground as well as loosen it after it has been ploughed and packed. It uses many flexible iron teeth usually arranged into three rows.
For Repairs and replacement parts for your harrows, contact Reptec Ltd.