After nearly a decade of direct seeding with three different systems, few people are more experienced to talk about one pass systems than Cliff Knowles.
His first unit for direct seeding was a double knife unit. This machine worked well for the first year in summerfallow and in low residue conditions. As residue built up in the fields, the machine had trouble coping with it. “Straw and plant roots would build up around the shanks causing the residue, coupled with soil, to roll and ridge over the next row.” says Cliff.
The replacement unit was equipped with double shoot openers with a 12” spacing. He used this unit for four years. “With the fertilizer tip running three inches deep, a lot of ground was being disturbed, often bringing up large chunks of soil. Because of this we were not always satisfied with the emergence.”
Cliff then acquired a Bourgault 5710 with Mid Row Banders® and ¾” knives. Cliff saw the results of the Bourgault system this spring. “My field’s displayed uniform germination; especially the canola. The results were far superior to the double shoot boots I used previously. Now I don’t rip up the seedbed to place the fertilizer.
“I was also very pleased with the durability of the banders. Another appreciable benefit with Mid Row Banders is the field finish. It was much smoother than with double shoot boots. At this point I am very satisfied. Now the other neighbour is looking at my fields and seriously considering a 5710.”