How Much Accuracy of Seed Placement Do You Need?

i.e., how much precision is economically advantageous?

As an agronomist and the founder of a company that strives to improve seeding hardware and methods, I have long held the view that we need greater precision of seed placement. By ‘precision of seed placement,’ I am referring to accuracy and consistency of: A) depth of placement, B) firming of seed into surrounding soil, C) fill material over the seed, and D) low-density of fill material over the seed. It also refers to the handling of mulch, and at a minimum involves preventing ‘hairpinning’ (the tucking or folding of straw into the furrow, where the seed is nestled in straw instead of soil), and having the mulch spread uniformly across the field before seeding commences.

The question of ‘adequate’ precision of seed placement most frequently arises for producers who already own narrow-row drills for seeding cool-season cereals (wheat, barley, oats), as well as pulses (peas, lentils, faba beans), or canola. The grain drill (box drill or air drill) may be the only seeding tool on the farm, and is…Read More