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Seeder

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Agricultural Equipment
Equipment Specifications - RitchieSpecs
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2001 John Deere 1760 Conservation 12R30 Planter
A seeder, or air drill, is a machine designed for the agricultural industry and used to place seeds into the ground. Common features found on the seeder include openers, a seed tank, and packers.

Seeders are used to plant seeds for beans, cotton, rice, wheat, canola and many types of vegetables.

The terms seeders and air drills are sometimes used interchangeably, dependant on the manufacturer. They accomplish essentially the same tasks, although some manufacturers consider air drills to be a better use of terminology. Air drills can be different as they contain various tanks for fertilization processes as well as dispensing seeds. However, seeders can sometimes function for this purpose as well, though they may need attachments to do so.

Contents

[edit] History

The traditional way for farmers to plant seeds was to carry them in a bag, dropping them throughout the field. This proved to be an inefficient method because seeds were not evenly distributed and many did not grow as a result.

International 10 12 ft. End Wheel Double Disc Drill

[edit] Jethro Tull's Invention

The need for a more accurate method was evident and Jethro Tull had a solution. He traveled through Europe in search of a way to improve upon farming methods for his own farm, called Prosperous.

In 1702, Tull invented the seed drill, a device consisting of a box of grain and seeds that were hauled by horse. The seeder, which was built using the foot pedals of a church organ, successfully distributed seeds in even amounts as well as implanting them at depths that produced fruitful results. Because the seeds had been planted in rows rather than randomly, it also made it much easier for a horse-drawn cart to remove the weeds that formed around the crop. The horse-drawn cart later turned into a wheeled vehicle that carried a box of seed in its rear.

The seeder was improved by the use of soil pulverization, a concept developed by Tull to improve seeding. By pulverizing the soil, the air and moisture that seeds required were received more readily.

Tull’s many farming methods, although revolutionary to farming and the seeder, they were not widely approved or accepted. The seeder did not gain immediate popularity in England but it was only a matter of time before New Englanders reaped its benefits.

Tull further improved the seeder with the addition of gears to the rotary mechanism in 1782.[1]

The practical grain drill was patented in 1841. It was further improved upon by the deep-well drill that appeared around the 1870’s.[2]

[edit] Gyral’s Air Seeders

A South Australian company named Gyral, founded by Albert Fuss, introduced an air seeder in the 1950s in response to farmers who were unable to plant in more compact soil environments. The seeder was light in weight and mounted on a Graham Holme chisel plow. Gyral patented the air seeder in 1956 and it became the very first air seeder to be patented. The "Number 1" air seeder consisted of a seed feeder entry with an impeller that spun the seeds and sprayed them out of a hose in what is referred to as a “gyroscopic” motion.

The gyroscopic motion influenced the name Gyral Implements Pty Ltd. In the late 60’s, Gyral started producing pneumatic seeders, which meant that seeders could be powered by air instead of diesel or electrical. The Number 1 air seeder still operates to this day.[3]

Junior seeders made their debut in 1962. Gyral also produced a line of trailing seeders in 1987.[4]

[edit] Features/How it Works

Seeders are mostly full-width frames that contain a seed box that sits along the width of the machine. Seeds are dropped from the box by a gear mechanism located on one of the wheels. Each row is combed with metering devices that are designated for a set row. Seeds are dispersed through a tube to the coulters, which crumble the soil while dropping seeds to ensure for higher probability of growth. The depth and width of the rows created can be adjusted by setting the coulters.[5] The seed rate is usually manipulated by adjusting the wheel calibration.

[edit] Types

[edit] Feeds

2005 Easy Lawn L65 Portable Hydromulcher-Seeder
Full-width machines feature an enclosed frame and a seed box located on the width of it. Each row of land is combed by a separate metering device. Coulters interrupt the soil by imprinting seeds that make their way down through tubes. The machine can be adjusted to make the rows wider or narrower and the dispersing of seeds closer or further apart. Depth can also be adjusted.[6]

Full-width drills are distinct for their cup feed mechanism. This type of drill contains a line of discs with a ring of cups that grab and drop seeds into small hoppers. The seeds travel through to the coulters and are dispersed into the soil. This type of drill has a reputation for being adaptable. Seeds of all kinds can be used and spring flaps or tilthing hoppers can be attached easily and readily. One noted disadvantage is seeds are not are regularly dispersed at the desired rate due to the nature of the complex machinery.[7]

Early versions had fluted rollers acting as the feed mechanisms for drills in England, but essentially they consist of a fluted roller using rotation to collects seeds from a box. The rollers move from side to side and regulate the seeds through their movement. Adjustments can be made for different seed types and springs in the baffle plates cause less damage to the seeds. There can be as much as three adjustments for the baffle plates or feed gates when it comes to dispersing seeds.[8]

[edit] Internal Double-run Force Feed

This type of seeder first gained popularity on farms in the U.S. and was used primarily for sowing cereals. It consisted of a feeder with a line of corrugated discs. Seeds are dispersed when the rotation of the wheels push them towards the corrugations and outside a box where it enters tubes. Both sides are used for dispersing the seeds but the course side is best for sowing oats while the fine side is more beneficial for dispersing seeds at a higher rate.[9]

The studded roller feed contains devices that allow calibration and easy maintenance of the drill. Most commonly used in European countries such as England, the studded roller feed is usually used in conjunction with a multi-speed gear box for better sowing.[10]

[edit] Pneumatic or Jet Drills

With the use of pneumatics for its feed mechanisms, drills can plant and till seeds with the use of air. Seeds pass through pipes to the coulters with the use of an air-stream. This type of drill is best used for single seed roots and vegetable seeds.[11]

Also known as the shoe coulter  in Britain, this type consists of a chilled iron, which embeds grooves into the soil. This works best in moderate conditions and in hard ground as opposed to softer soil because the seeds can be precisely planted. Any other conditions such as poor tilth and the discs are less effective.

[edit] Single and Double Disc Coulters

Single disc coulters place seeds individually and it is not always possible to achieve the same depth for each seed placement. With double disc coulters, the seeds are arranged between them and are dispersed at the same rate and depth. High costs are associated with this due to the large number of parts required.

[edit] Wing Coulters

Wing coulters were first developed in Finland and are used on drills for sowing cereals. The coulters attach themselves to levers in the front of the drill. Hydraulics is used to draw the seeds out after they are placed on a band approximately two inches (5 cm) wide and dispersed. The main disadvantage is expense and draught.[12]

[edit] Drills

Typically, drills are powered by hydraulics. Older types of drills are easily fitted with attachments to make their functions more modern.

[edit] Semi-mounted Tractor Drills

These drills have a three-link systems to connect drills to tractors. A hitch is created to install drill coulters and allow effective sowing. A hydraulic lift control lever controls the seeds movement. This type of drill gets the work done quickly and efficiently.

[edit] Tractor-mounted Drills

Tractor-mounted drills also take advantage of the hydraulic three-link system. When the tractor pulls the drills out, the machine is lifted off the ground to allow the feed mechanism to function. This is used for dispersing heavy corn and often used in conjunction with combines.[13]

[edit]
Fiona Apollo Dr. Seeder
Equipment

The Massey Ferguson 9000 Massey Ferguson 9000 series of air seeders has been designed to tackle a variety of soil environments for seeding.[14]

The Morris Seed-Rite hoe drill is a machine that combines many functions in one, that of the cultivator, seed drill, and rod weeder. By combining these tasks into one machine, farmers are able to get to job while conserving costs and time. It is also proven to prevent the erosion of soil and reduce the loss of moisture for the seeds.

The Morris contour drill is designed for more precise seed planting and fertilization. This is accomplished with the contour opener that moves over each frame and delivers better angle and depth that seen in conventional machines. It is able to ensure precision by single seed placement and even provides a germination process.

The Maxim II air drill is another Morris series, upgraded from the Maxim air drill that combines seeding, fertilizing, and packing in one stage. The addition of dual wheels means the drill can easily surpass rocky or bumpy terrain.[15]

[edit] Fertilization

Tractors are used not only for seeding but often for fertilizing crop as well. Tractors pull discs and seed drills to accomplish both. The use of chemical sprays have become the norm with most fertilization processes and are associated with long term advantages such as enabling the soil to retain moisture in a beneficial way.

Fertilizers that contain pesticides have to be registered in some countries as more evidence reveals their harmful characteristics to fruit and vegetables.[16]

[edit] Common Manufacturers

[edit] Additional Photos

McCormick 10 7 in. Seed Drill
2000 Gaspardo MC250 Seeder
Great Plains 30HC 30 ft. Drill
International 620 24 ft. Press Drill
John Deere 9350 30 ft. Double Disc Seed Drill
John Deere 7200 Conservation 8R30 Planter
2002 John Deere 1700 Series 24R22 Maximerge Plus Wing Fold Planter
John Deere 9350 10 ft. Grass Drill

[edit] References

  1. The Seed Drill. The Open Door Web Site. 2008-09-25.
  2. Farm Technology. AG Classroom. 2008-09-25.
  3. About Gyral. Gyral. 2008-09-25.
  4. Air Seeder History. Gyral. 2008-09-25.<ref>;
  5. Culpin, Claude. Farm Machinery. Granada: Toronto, 1981.
  6. Culpin, Claude. Farm Machinery. Granada: Toronto, 1981.
  7. Culpin, Claude. Farm Machinery. Granada: Toronto, 1981.
  8. Culpin, Claude. Farm Machinery. Granada: Toronto, 1981.
  9. Culpin, Claude. Farm Machinery. Granada: Toronto, 1981.
  10. Culpin, Claude. Farm Machinery. Granada: Toronto, 1981.
  11. Culpin, Claude. Farm Machinery. Granada: Toronto, 1981.
  12. Culpin, Claude. Farm Machinery. Granada: Toronto, 1981.
  13. Culpin, Claude. Farm Machinery. Granada: Toronto, 1981.
  14. Air Drills. Massey Ferguson. 2008-09-25.
  15. About. Morris-Industries. 2008-09-25.
  16. Farming in Canada: Agriculture Canada Publication 1296/E. Available from Communications Branch, Agriculture Canada. Ottawa K1A 0C7. 1989.