Choosing the right seeder

The seeder is an agricultural machine that saves the farmer considerable time and increases production tenfold. It distributes seeds evenly in a straight line in the soil at precise rates and at specific depths. 

Choosing the right seeder depends on the area to be harvested and the workload you require. In addition to the surface to sow, you’ll want to take into account the type of seeds you want to plant, the soil being seeded and the type of distribution. In this guide, we’ll discuss the following points:

 

  • Type of seeds
  • Surface to sow
  • Type of distribution
  • Storage capacity

 

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  • What types of seeders are there?

    The seeder is composed of a hopper to store the seeds, a system to distribute them and plowshares or discs to allow them to be sown in depth.

    Depending on the size of the farm, the type of seeds and the sowing conditions, there are two types of machines available:

    In line seeder (aka multigrain, cereal, conventional): used for all major crops (rice, wheat, etc.). It is used for regular sowing in equidistant lines and with uniform depth.

    Precision seeder (aka single-seed): Ideal for both large and small seeds. It makes it possible to sow seeds one by one with regular spacing.

    in line seeder-Kverneland

    in line seeder-Kverneland

    precision seed drill-HORSCH

    precision seed drill-HORSCH

  • How to choose the right seeder for the seeds?

     

    Different types of seeds require different seeders for proper distribution. We’ve separated them into two main categories to help you identify which seeder is most appropriate for your crop.

     

    • Winter cereals, peas, sorghum, fodder crops and rapeseed: These crops can be easily sown with an in line seeder (aka conventional seed drill). It is important to always adapt the seeding rate according to the size of the seeds. The first three types of seeds (winter cereals, peas and sorghum) are large in size and do not present any difficulty dosing. However, the other two are smaller. The seeder’s metering system allows the quantity of seeds to be adjusted. The objective is to obtain an optimal density of plants at all times. If the seed drill does not allow this, it is often possible to adapt micro-dosing systems to the machine.

     

    • Maize, sunflower and soybeans: The ideal seeder for these crops is a precision seeder because it allows for better distribution between the rows. The distributor discs must be adapted to each crop.
    Conventional seed drill - Rotadairon

    Conventional seed drill – Rotadairon

     

  • Seeders for large fields vs. small plots

    If you have large fields and need to sow a large area of ​​each crop, a folding seeder (aka folding seed drill) is a good option as it has a larger hopper capacity and will allow you to improve productivity by increasing the amount of hectares sown per hour.

    A mounted seeder is smaller, which gives it better maneuverability. This is an important feature for small farms. This type of seeder also has a small hopper, making it lighter which in turn reduces the fuel consumption.

    Folding seed drill-Gherardi

    Folding seed drill-Gherardi

    Mounted seeder -LEMKEN

    Mounted seeder -LEMKEN

  • What should I know about the types of distribution?

    There are three main types of seed distribution: mechanical, pneumatic and manual.

     

    Mechanical distribution is more suitable for small and medium-sized machines.

    Pneumatic distribution uses air compression to place the seed in the ground. It is more precise and easily adapts to different types of plowshares.  

    Manual distribution is not used for large crops but is suitable for market gardening in greenhouses. It places seeds individually at specific spacing along a row.

    Mechanical distribution -SULKY

    Mechanical distribution -SULKY

    Pneumatic distribution -Baertschi-Agrartecnic

    Pneumatic distribution -Baertschi-Agrartecnic

    Manual distribution-Bassi-Seminatrici

    Manual distribution-Bassi-Seminatrici

  • What about seed storage for the seeder?

    A seeder requires a storage tank for each type of seeds, called a hopper.

    The tank has a distribution device to pass the seeds through the pipes. Most hoppers are filled using agricultural bigs bags.
    The seeder is also equipped with an agitator to prevent seed plugs at the entrance of the distribution system.

    Seeders are generally equipped with a plowshare or a disc which opens up the soil to allow good seed placement. Other parts, usually a tooth or harrow rake, help to cover the seed with soil.

    Lastly, a seeder is equipped with a plotter to guide the farmer in plotting their crops and mark where one passage ends and another one begins.

    Plowshare seeder - Dale Drills

    Plowshare seeder – Dale Drills

    Disc seeder - AGRO MASZ-Pawel-Noak

    Disc seeder – AGRO MASZ-Pawel-Noak

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