Seedbed Integrity - The Golden Rule
Golden Rule of One-Pass Seeding:
To apply all of the seed and fertilizer requirements in a
single operation without the seeding operation itself
incurring risk to the potential crop.
Critical for Optimum Emergence
It is important not to compromise the quality of the seedbed to deposit seed and fertilizer in one pass. Rough field finish has several negative effects:
Excess Moisture Loss - Producers all have experienced varying degrees of dry seeding conditions. When available moisture is minimal, a rough seedbed finish will greatly increase the surface area exposed to evaporation, allowing the soil to dry up even quicker.
Uneven Seed Depth - The condition of the seedbed on the surface is a good indicator of the quality of seed placement. In a rough seedbed, seeds can be found from the soil surface to the bottom of the furrow. The seeds that do emerge will vary greatly, resulting in variations in crop maturity. The final grade of the crop can be determined right at seeding time.
Fertilizer Damage - Openers prone to causing seedbed damage will not be able to maintain good seed-to-fertilizer separation. Seed in contact with the initial form of nitrogen will suffer from fertilizer toxicity and salt effect. Crop recovery will vary depending on the amount of moisture available in the soil, and subsequent crop pressure.
Other effects that are contributed to rough field finish include equipment damage due to traveling over rough terrain.
The Bourgault Superior Seeding System allows the farmer to equip a narrow knife for the seed rows, placing the nitrogen requirements with the MRBs® mid seed row. Not only does this provide guaranteed safety from fertilizer damage, but also a superior field finish compared to side banding systems.
Bourgault 5710 AHD with Mid Row Banders®
Good seedbed quality will help ensure even emergence.
The positioning of the low disturbance MRB® coulter, midway between each pair of seed rows ensures that your seedbed will not be disturbed by the application of the nitrogen fertilizer. Besides potential seed burn, the side-bander system provided poor seed placement because it fractured the soil. This is evident by the rough, lumpy field.
To minimize seedbed disruption, side-banding systems must be operated at approximately 4½ mph (7¼ kph) in favorable seeding conditions. Field finish will deteriorate as speed increases above this. Owners of Bourgault Seeding Systems with Mid Row Banders® can seed well above this range, and have a superior field finish to a side-banded field. Efficiency and Seedbed Finish is superior with Bourgault Seeding Systems.
This photo compares a typical MRB field finish (left) with a side-bander field finish (right).
This photo of a side-banded field shows how rough field finish can affect emergence. Notice in the headlands, where more fertilizer may be present, that the emergence is much lower.
The Mid Row Bander system allows producers to select the seed opener best suited for their operation. Side band systems create a large furrow due to the wide profile in a single trench. The farmer with a side banding system must slow down and reduce his productivity in order for enough soil to fall back into the trench and be packed over the seed.
Seeding in Dry Conditions
The photo below shows a narrow seed-only knife compared to a side-banding opener in hard soil. When seeding in hardpan such as this, the preservation of existing soil moisture during seeding is essential. The more soil exposed to the surface, the greater the loss. A narrow seed opener, with a coulter fertilizer applicator, will minimize both disturbance and moisture loss.
The narrow seed opener creates a narrow furrow in the soil, while the wide side-banding opener leaves a wide trench with lumps.
This shot of an MRB field shows how the narrow opener will leave a smooth finish, enabling an even emergence.
Seeding in Wet Conditions
Side banding openers, such as the double shoot boot can be problematic in wet conditions as well as dry. Wide openers with a buildup of mud would be detrimental to seed placement.
The Bourgault Seeding System can penetrate evenly even in over packed soil conditions. An example shown on this page shows where a Bourgault drill with MRBs seeded over a packed roadway. There is no difference in emergence in the roadway and the rest of the field.
Wide openers in wet conditions will build up, leaving a mess behind the drill.
Germination is the same, even through a packed roadway.