Revegetation Equipment Catalog

Contents
Home
Forward
Tractors
All-terrain Vehicles
Global Positioning Systems
Controlling Plants Mechanically
Controlling Plants Chemically
Controlling Plants by Fire
Site Preparation
Fertilizing & Mulching
Seeding
Specialized Planters
Seed Harvesting
Seed Processing
Transport Trailers
Miscellaneous
References
Appendix
Disclaimer
Contact Us

 


Seeding

Seeding is the metering and distribution of seed either by broadcasting on the soil surface or by placing seed into the soil at a predetermined depth.  Special planters are required to place plants or plant parts into the soil, a costly method.  Direct seeding is generally preferred for revegetation projects because seed is relatively inexpensive, easily stored and transported, and is usually readily available or can be collected.  Accurate metering systems distribute seed uniformly and increase the probability of success over the entire seeded area.  Drill seeding places the seed in the soil at targeted depths and covers the seed, thereby increasing the probability of seedling germination and emergence.  Broadcast seeding generally requires as much as 50% more seed to equal the results of drill seeding.  Seedbed condition, quality of seed, probability of rainfall, and weed competition influence the chances of successful plant establishment. 

                         Aircraft Spreaders                    Air Drills
                         Grass Drills & Seeders             Unit Planters
                         Grain Drills                              Rotary Spreaders

Aircraft Spreaders                                                                                    Top of Page

Description

Fixed-wing aircraft use venturi spreaders to distribute seed while helicopters use rotary-spinner spreaders.  Venturi spreaders clamp to the gate box at the base of the hopper.  The gate boxes are 25-, 38-, or 41-inches wide depending on the size of the aircraft.  As the adjustable door (gate) on the gate box opens, seed from the hopper falls into the venturi spreader and airflow through the spreader distributes the seed.  The amount the door is opened determines the seed flow rate.  In some cases, the flow of difficult-to-meter seed can be improved by an agitator installed above the gate box.  Hard, slick seed can be accurately metered with a positive metering system installed on the gate box.  The system uses a rotating, fluted rotor to positively meter seed or pelleted material.  Rotor speed is controlled by the pilot, and the system can be calibrated while the plane is on the ground.  Rotary spreaders are self-contained units that hang below the helicopter and spread seed with a hydraulic- or electric-powered spinner.  Additional information is covered in the chapter on Controlling Plants Chemically.

Application

Aerial seeding can cover extensive areas in a short time period and operate where ground equipment is not practical.  Timing is critical for success.  A freshly disturbed seedbed and seeding just prior to rainfall or before the soil freezes in the fall for cold-treatment seeding holds the greatest potential for success.  Vanes in the venturi spreader can be adjusted to control the swath pattern, and the pattern should be tested for even distribution of materials upon initial spreader installation.  Seeding rate is determined by the amount of seed flowing through the adjustable door opening on the gate box, speed of the aircraft, and swath width.  Flying too high or too low distorts the swath pattern; 25 feet is an optimum height.  Windy conditions can also distort the pattern.  Chaffy grass seed can be especially difficult to meter and operator experience is valuable.  In many situations, a bulking agent (e.g. cracked grain) can be added at 2 to 4 pounds per pound of chaffy seed to increase uniformity of metering.  The helicopter’s tethered hopper uses a gate opening to control the flow of seed onto the spinner for spreading.  Fixed-wing aircraft are fast and cover terrain quickly, but require landing strips.  Helicopters are much slower, are better suited to irregular shaped or mountainous areas, and do not require landing strips.  GPS/GIS units negate the need for flagmen and can record flight patterns.

       Fixed-wing aircraft spreading grass seed     Aircraft spreader
       Venturi spreader applying seed on          Swathmaster dry-material spreader
               log-littered rangeland.                              pictured in adjacent photo.
                                                                               Photo courtesy of Transland Inc.

Aeral positive metering unit for slick grass seed
Aircraft positive metering unit for slick seed or pellets.

Helicopter seeding unit
Seed hopper with rotary spreader tethered below helicopter.
Photo courtesy of USDA Forest Service
Missoula Technology & Development Center.

Sources

The manufacturers' websites list information on equipment sizes, accessories, dealers, and their email addresses.

Simplex Manufacturing
13340 NE Whitaker Way
Portland, OR 97230
Phone: 503-257-3511
Fax: 503-257-8556
Website: www.simplexmfg.com

Transland, Inc.
24511 Frampton Ave.
Harbor City, CA 90710
Phone: 310-534-2511
Fax: 310-534-2518
Website: www.translandinc.com

Grass Drills and Seeders                                                                      Top of Page

Metering Systems.  Seed metering and placement are key components of a drill/seeder.  Hard, slick seed is easily metered in fluted or cup-feed mechanisms.  Uniform metering of chaffy or fluffy seed plagued the industry for years.  The development of the semicircular seedbox, auger agitator, and pickerwheel mechanism by the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station eliminated much of the metering variability, and it is now the industry standard.  Slick and chaffy seed will not meter uniformly in a mix, therefore, separate seedboxes are required to meter these two seed types.  Additional seedboxes are available to apply fertilizer, pesticides, or other slick seed.

Auger agitator in grass seedbox
Top view of chaffy seedbox with an auger agitator.
Photo courtesy of Truax Co., Inc.

Seed Placement.  Placing seed in a seed furrow at a shallow depth and pressing the soil around the seed is often a challenge under rangeland conditions.  The problem become complex when seed of some species need to be placed at shallow depths while other species in the same mix germinate best when placed on the soil surface.  Understanding these requirements determines the type of devices used.  When clean-tilled land is present, double disk openers with depth bands and presswheels can be used very effectively.  When brush debris, crop residue, or rocks are present, different approaches must be taken.  These may include coulters to cut trash, modified disk openers, cultipackers, steel runner openers, chain harrows, chain drags, rubber-tire packers, or broadcast (no openers).  When two rows of cultipackers are used, seed is dropped between the first and second row.  Large diameter seed tubes (2 inches or more) are necessary when dispensing chaffy seed to prevent clogging.

Double-disk openers with depth bands
Double-disk opener with a depth band and presswheel.

Steel runner openers on grass seeder    Grass seeder without openers
Seeder with steel runner openers (left) and without (right)
for seeding debris-littered land.

Cultipacker grass seeder
Seedboxes mounted over two rows of cultipacker rollers.
Photo courtesy Truax Co., Inc.

 Grass seeder with rubber-tire packer
Seeder mounted over notched-blade coulters and rubber tire packer.
Photo courtesy of Chuck Grimes, Grasslander.

Description

Grass drills and seeders consist of seed hoppers, metering devices, and some type of seed placement device.  Grass drills range in width from 6 to 15 feet, while grain drills can be up to 40 feet wide.  Row spacing varies between 8 and 12 inches, with 12 inches common for rangeland.  The metering systems have the capability to deliver 0.5 to 20 lbs of seed per acre.  Drills use several different styles of ground-drives to power the metering system.  Most drills are towed and use a hydraulic lift mechanism while some drills attach to the tractor’s 3-point hitch.  No-till drills use coulters of various sizes and shapes to cut cover-crop residue ahead of the seed-furrow openers.  Drills and seeders designed for rangeland are normally extra-heavy duty to withstand the rigors of rough-terrain.  The Forest Service developed an extra-heavy-duty drill with single-disk openers that can seed in rough, non-tilled soil with limited debris.  This drill is widely used by government agencies in the western U.S.

Application

Cropland drills are applicable for clean-tilled land and do not do well when rocks and debris are present.  Rangeland drills are designed with a variety of options to overcome the rigor of rangeland conditions.  Seed mixes are commonly used on rangeland.  Chaffy and slick seed must be metered separately.  Knowledge of the optimum seeding depth of the selected species is important to insure that the correct furrow openers, depth bands, presswheels, and covering devices are used.

Heavy-duty rangeland drill   Close-up view of heavy-duty openers

Rough-land drill with heavy-duty openers and
special-application presswheels.
Photos courtesy of Truax Co., Inc.

Additional information

Wiedemann, H.T., J.H. Brock, C.E. Fisher, and B.T. Cross.  1979.  Seed metering and placement devices for rangeland seeders.  Transactions of the ASAE 22:1275-1278.

Sources

The manufacturers' websites list information on equipment sizes, accessories, dealers, and their email addresses.  Manufacturers of Forest Service Rangeland Drills are labeled with an asterisk (*).

AGCO Corporation (Tye Drills)
4205 River Green Parkway
Duluth, GA 30096
Phone:  770-813-9200
Fax:  770-813-6158
Website:  www.tye.agcocorp.com
Website: www.agcocorp.com

Brillion Farm Equipment
200 Park Avenue
Brillion, WI 54110
Phone: 800-409-9749
Fax: 920-756-3409
Website: www.brillionfarmeq.com

CrustBuster Speed King, Inc.
P.O. Box 1438
Dodge City, KS 67801
Phone: 620-227-7106
Website: www.crustbuster.com

Grasslander Seeder
Rt. 1 Box 56
Hennessey, OK 73742
Phone: 405-853-2607
Website: www.grasslander.com

Great Plains Manufacturing, Inc.
P.O. Box 5060
Salina, KS 67402
Phone: 785-823-3276
Website: www.greatplainsmfg.com

Haybuster Agricultural Products
DuraTech Industries International, Inc.
P.O. Box 1940
Jamestown, ND 58401
Phone: 701-252-4601
Fax: 701-252-0502
Website: www.haybuster.com

Metal Masters*
3862 Depot Road
Hayward, CA 94545
Phone: 510-352-1230
Fax: 510-783-3999
Email: jonreash1@comcast.net

Nyssa Machine & Welding Manufacturing*
219 N 9th Street
Nyssa, OR  97913
Phone: 541-372-3123
Fax: 541-372-4036
Website: www.nyssamachine.com

P&F Services*
P.O. Box 1076
Kemmerer, WY 83101
Phone: 307-877-6455
Fax: 307-877-3812

Sukup Manufacturing Co.
P.O. Box 677
Sheffield, IA 50475-0677
Phone: 641-892-4222
Fax: 641-892-4629
Website: www.sukup.com

Truax Company, Inc.
4300 Quebec Avenue North
New Hope, MN 55428
Phone: 763-537-6639
Fax: 763-536-8352
Website: www.truaxcomp.com

Grain Drills                                                                                                  Top of Page

Description

Grain drills use a fluted, seed-metering device, precise furrow openers, and covering devices.  Furrow openers can be chisels, single disks, or double disks.  Presswheels and covering devices are standard.  Grain drills vary in width from 6 to 40 feet.  Row spacing varies from 6 to 30 inches, with 7˝ inches widely used for cereal grains.  Drills are either towed or attached to the tractor’s 3-point hitch.  All towed units have hydraulic lift mechanisms.  On some models, extra hoppers are available for fertilizer, pesticide, or additional seed metering.  Numerous options are available to improve drill efficacy based on local soil conditions.

Conservation tillage requires drills that will operate in heavy crop residue.  These drills are labeled no-till drills.  They use coulters and other devices to slice through trash and undisturbed soil prior to seed placement by standard openers and covering devices.  The frame is built to hold add-on weights or weight transfer mechanisms to assure trash cutting and soil penetration.

Application

Grain drills are very precise tools and are widely available.  They normally meter cereal grains, legumes, and forages; however, hard, slick grass seed can also be metered.  Drills perform best on well-tilled cropland free of rocks and debris.  Chisel openers are useful in dry soils, and single disk openers can cut through firm soil and limited crop residue.  Double disk openers are the most accurate and widely used.  No-till drills are used when planting into heavy crop residue or grass turf.  Grain drills are not suited for rocky or brush-littered soil conditions or rough rangeland.

Grain drill
Grain drill on clean-tilled land.
Photo courtesy Case IH.

Sources

Conventional and no-till grain drills are available from all major tractor manufacturers.  Tractor dealers often provide drills manufactured by short-line companies.

The manufacturers' websites list information on equipment sizes, accessories, dealers, and their email addresses.

Air Seeders                                                                                                 Top of Page

Description

Air seeders use standard drill openers or unit planters on a framework similar to a chisel plow.  A very large, towed hopper meters seed and moves the seed by airflow to the furrow opening device.  Hopper capacity varies from 200 to 400 bushels.  Some systems have an additional hopper that supplies fertilizer in concert with the seeding operation.  The seeding units vary in width from 28 to 60 feet.  Row spacing varies from 7˝ to 30 inches depending on the type of crop.  Different types of fluted metering systems are available to supply very low to very high rates of different sized seed or fertilizer.  The systems use electronic seed counting, and seeding rates can be monitored or changed on-the-go from the tractor cab.  Many of the same options to improve grain drill efficacy in different soil conditions are available for air seeders.

Application

Air seeders are designed for high-acreage output on clean-tilled land or land with heavy crop residue.  They can operate on rolling land, but are not suited for rocky or rough terrain.

Large air seeder
Air seeder operating in no-till conditions.
Photo courtesy of Case IH.

Sources

The manufacturers' websites list information on equipment sizes, accessories, dealers, and their email addresses.

AGCO Corporation
4205 River Green Parkway
Duluth, GA 30096
Phone:  770-813-9200
Fax:  770-813-6158
Website:  www.agcocorp.com 

Case IH
700 State Street
Racine, WI 53404
Phone:  262-636-6011
Fax:  262-636-6078
Website:  www.caseih.com

Deere & Company
John Deere World Headquarters
One John Deere Place
Moline, IL 61265
Phone:  309-765-8000
Fax:  309-765-4225
Website:  www.deere.com

Great Plains Manufacturing, Inc.
P.O. Box 5060
Salina, KS 67402
Phone: 785-823-3276
Website: www.greatplainsmfg.com

New Holland North America
500 Diller Avenue
New Holland, PA 17557
Phone:  888-290-7377
Website:  www.newholland.com

Unit Planters                                                                                              Top of Page

Description

Unit planters are self-contained, single-row units mounted on a toolbar.  A unit planter consists of a hopper, furrow opener, seed placement tube, furrow closing device, and a presswheel.  The presswheel normally operates the seeding system through a chain-drive.  The seed metering system uses a variety of plates and/or other mechanisms to supply single seeds uniformly spaced at accurate depths.  Each planter is independently suspended so it can closely follow varying terrain.  Additional hoppers are available for granular fertilizer, inoculum, or pesticides.  In some cases a spray nozzle is attached to each planter to apply pesticide in a band over the row.  Numerous types of coulters and row sweeps are available to improve efficacy in no- or limited-till conditions.  Planting units can vary in width up to 90 feet by using a flexing toolbar.  Distances between individual planters can be adjusted for specific crops and can vary between 15 and 40 inches.

Application

Unit planters are precision seeders that were originally designed to operate on clean-tilled land.  However, due to conservation requirements, planters have been redesigned to operate in moderate to heavy crop residue.  Unit planters are used where precise seed depth and spacing are important, and should not be used where rocks and brush debris are present.

Individual row planters
Unit planters operating on clean-tilled land.
Photo courtesy of John Deere.

Sources

The manufacturers' websites list information on equipment sizes, accessories, dealers, and their email addresses.

AGCO Corporation
4205 River Green Parkway
Duluth, GA 30096
Phone:  770-813-9200
Fax:  770-813-6158
Website:  www.agcocorp.com

Case IH
700 State Street
Racine, WI 53404
Phone:  262-636-6011
Fax:  262-636-6078
Website:  www.caseih.com

Deere & Company
John Deere World Headquarters
One John Deere Place
Moline, IL 61265
Phone:  309-765-8000
Fax:  309-765-4225
Website:  www.deere.com

Great Plains Manufacturing, Inc.
P.O. Box 5060
Salina, KS 67402
Phone: 785-823-3276
Website: www.greatplainsmfg.com

Kinze Manufacturing, Inc.
P.O. Box 806
Williamsburg, IA 52361-1300
Phone: 319-668-1300
Fax: 319-668-1328
Website: www.kinzemfg.com

New Holland North America
500 Diller Avenue
New Holland, PA 17557
Phone:  888-290-7377
Website:  www.newholland.com

Rotary Spreaders                                                                                     Top of Page

Description

Rotary spreaders are used to broadcast seed, fertilizer, or other granular products.  They consist of a hopper with an adjustable gate opening to regulate the flow of material falling onto a rotating spinner.  Spreader size can vary from small hand-held units to large tractor mounted units.  Units of 1 to 2 bushel capacity are powered by a 12-vote electric motor and can be mounted on ATVs or pick-ups.  Three- to 32-bushel spreaders are attached to a tractor’s 3-point hitch and powered by the tractor’s power-take-off.  Spreading rates vary from 3 to 1000 pounds/acre and swath width will vary between 20 and 40 feet.  Some models have an agitator in the hopper to prevent blockages and provide a uniform flow of material.

Application

Rotary spreaders are well suited for limited acreages on level or rolling terrain.  Seed should be spread during or following the tilling operation.  Spreaders can be attached directly to the tilling or mulching equipment.  Fertilizer, seed only, seed blended with fertilizer, or lime may be applied on tilled soil or over pastures.  Hand-operated units are not limited by type of terrain and are best suited for spot treatments.  Rotary spreaders are simple and easy to use and maintain.  They can be accurate, but are often misused, resulting in non-uniform applications.  Tractor speed, flow rate, and swath width all affect the application rate; wind can distort the swath pattern.

Spinner spreader mounted on a farm tractor
Rotary spreader.
Photo courtesy of Herd Seeder Co.


Rotary spreader attached to rear of a power mulcher.
Photo courtesy of Reinco.

Sources

The manufacturers' websites list information on equipment sizes, accessories, dealers, and their email addresses.

Forestry Suppliers, Inc.
P.O. Box 8397
Jackson, MS 39284-8397
Phone: 800-647-5368
Phone: 601-354-3565
Fax: 601-292-0165
Website: www.forestry-suppliers.com

Herd Seeder Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 448
Logansport, IN 46947
Phone: 574-753-6311
Website: www.herdseeder.com

Reinco
P.O. Box 512
Plainfield, NJ 07061-0512
Phone: 800-526-7687
Phone: 908-755-0921
Fax: 908-755-6379
Website: www.reinco.com

Thompson Seeder Company
P.O. Box 776
Logansport, IN 46947
Phone: 574-753-6366
Website: www.thompsonseeder.com

Truax Company, Inc.
4300 Quebec Avenue North
New Hope, MN 55428
Phone: 763-537-6639
Fax: 763-536-8352
Website: www.truaxcomp.com
 

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