Using Disc Seeders

Farmers from across South Australian speak about their transition to Disc seeders.

Greg Butler from   done extensive research on the benefits of using disc seeders and we hear from South Australian land owners about their personal experiences.

I reckon disc seeders are fantastic. I’m not actually we’re saying that they’re the right system for everyone but I think that they offer a number of advantages. The first one is the lower soil disturbance and the increase in the amount of stubble that could retain in the paddock. The other big advantage is the time of sowing.

If you’re trying to get over a certain amount of area in a certain period of time then the faster you can go then the quicker you’ll get in.That has a productivity benefit. I think there’s also a big benefit for soil health, and simply by digging the soil less, I think that when we talk about things like soil health and soil organic carbon, is it going to a no till system with a knife point.

Certainly is a lot better than a cultivated system. I think the difference between that and a disc seeding system is that you can actually see the disc seeding system actually improving significantly. So we’re cultivation is continually destroying the soil, organic carbon continually destroying the soil health, the no-till system can sort of stem the flow and maybe start to crawl it back but the Zero Till system with the disc really does see that increase.

It’s on a 10 inch row spacing, it’s a single disc with a press wheel behinds and a mud scraping wheel on the side. The mud scraping wheel you can move forward or backward so whether or not you want soil throw or you want zero soil throw, and that’s the basic idea of it. It’s hydraulically operated, so it’s not sprung off, sprung that’s hydraulic so you can vary the amount of down force according to the type of land you’re going over.

If you’re going over top of soft sandy soil and you don’t want it to seep down too much just ease off the hydraulic pressure.

I guess one issue I suppose that was forefront of our mind was how we incorporate pre-sowing chemicals trifluralin. Whether we’d have a soil throw. After seeing the piece of equipment now and doing a seeding program with it we’re both reasonably confident that that won’t be an issue. I didn’t want to disturb our soil too much.

Accurate Seed Placement for Smaller Seeds

We’re traditionally running a John Deere chisel plow with a coulter on the front, Agmore sowing boot on the press wheel, and I still felt that on 12 inch spacings that was disturbing too much soil. So we went and purchased a John Deere 1890 single disc opener and that gave me accurate seed placement for the small seeds within the cover crop into the soil and didn’t expose me to any wind erosion.

Actually ended up buying one out of Argentina a Bertini it’s called, I feel we were doing the right thing by keeping as much stubble as we could and now we’ve bought this disc machine after seeing them overseas and some people in Australia’s where you don’t have to do anything to the stubble to be able to go through it and so yeah, we’ve gone into the disc machine so we can keep all the stubble, minimal soil disturbance or zero disturbance.

And therefore, that’s the system we’re using now.