Seedbed Integrity & Emergence

Side-Banding Seeding Systems

Uneven Emergence
With side-banding, one of the effects from poor seedbed integrity is inconsistent seed depth, resulting in uneven emergence. Due to the wide profile of side-banding openers such as double shoot boots or paired row openers create soil disturbance. This effect is amplified as seeding conditions become more challenging. On the left, barley seeded at 2" (51mm) depth was found as deep as 3" (76mm) mixed with the fertilizer.

Sample seedlings shown on the right taken from a field seeded with a double shoot boot show a variation in depth from 1-3/4" to 3-1/4" (44mm to 83mm). The inconsistent depth was primarily due to seedbed fracture caused by the side banding system.
Seeding Depth is Inconsistent Due to the Disruption of the Seedbed 
Seedlings from a Side-banded Field show Variation in Growth from Different Seeding Depths
Dual knife side-bander systems will also show poor seedbed integrity in less than ideal conditions. The aggressive fertilizer lead knife will fracture the seedbed when it is dry, or when seeding speed is increased above 4½ mph (7¼ kph). The seed knife runs very closely beside the fertilizer band, so seed depth consistency is directly affected by the fracture caused by the fertilizer knife.

Consequences of Uneven Emergence
Uneven emergence from inconsistent seed depth may result in:
  • Uneven crop maturity, which will produce grain at various stages of maturity, affecting the grade.
  • Maturity delay, which can expose crops to the threat of major crop loss if there is an early fall frost.
The Seed and Fertilizer Knives Place Each Row Very Close to Each Other 
Poor Seedbed Quality from a Dual Knife Side-bander With Less Than Ideal Conditions

Bourgault Seeding System with MRBs®
Consistent Emergence
The Bourgault Seeding System provides more precise seed placement with narrow profile knives in the seed row and MRBs for fertilizer.
Even Seed Depth
As you can see in the picture on the left, the barley is right on the 2" (51mm) depth set by the operator. There is no disturbance to the seed row by the MRBs.
Even Emergence
Refer to the photo on the right. It is easy to tell that each plant was seeded at the same depth, therefore emerged from the soil at the same time. Even seeding depth and protection from fertilizer damage result in an even germination. This is critical for a healthy stand and timing of harvest.
The Bourgault seeding system provides excellent seed depth control.
Plant Emergence and Growth from the MRB field is consistent.
Economic Benefits of Even Emergence
The benefits to the bottom line justify the need to strive for even emergence. These benefits include:
  • Crop maturity at the same time. Grain samples with even maturity will greatly improve grades.
  • Crop maturity on time. Producers do not have to hold back on harvest and risk crop loss to early frost in order to have all the grain mature.

Emergence from a Mid Row Bander Field