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Frequently Asked Questions

Seed Drill FAQ

Also known as ‘Direct Drills’, ‘Box Drills’, or ‘Combines’, Seed Drills are an agricultural tractor implement used to plant a diverse range of seed - most commonly oats, lucernes, and grasses - for pasture renovation (providing quality feed for animals) on small to medium mixed or pastoral farms.

Seed drills are generally used in pastoral farming (livestock) to sow quality animal feed to help grow fat, strong livestock for market. They can also be used on small to medium sized cropping farms where larger and more complicated broadacre seeding equipment presents a prohibitive cost to the farmer.

Seed Drills can ‘direct drill’ seed into the residue and stubble of previous crops without previous cultivation (tilalge). This minimal soil disruption technique is known as ‘no-till’ or ‘zero-till’ farming popular amongst Australian farmers.

Agrowdrill direct drills can be used in either primary or secondary tillage operations.

Seed drills generally consist of a dual-hopper (or 'box') that enables the separation of seed and fertiliser before being mixed ('banded') together during sowing.

Seed is drawn via gravity into ‘rollers’ that are directly driven by an infinitely variable gearbox (‘varibox’) connected via clutch to the machine’s wheels, or by an electric drive motor.

Seed then falls through hose into chutes behind a ‘soil opener’. This could be either a coil or spring tyne with ‘baker boot’ point or a single,
double or even disc setup. The soil openers create a shallow furrow in the soil into which the seed is then dropped or ‘placed’.

Optional presswheels or rollers can be fitted to, or trailed behind the seed drill, to flatten the soil and lightly press or cover the seed into the soil.

Seed drills require calibration before operation to ensure the correct seeding ‘rate’ (ie: seeds per hectare) depending on the different sized seed and/or desired outcomes. This is achieved via levers on the machine connected to the variable gearbox, or on a screen controller (in the case of an electric motor drive).

Seed drills can be raised or lowered via tractor hydraulics to remotely engage or disengage the seeding mechanisms.

No-till farming, also referred to as 'zero tillage' or 'direct drilling', is an agricultural system aimed at cultivating crops or pastures without disturbing the soil through traditional conventional tillage methods such as ploughing.

Among its advantages are improved water infiltration, reduced soil erosion, enhanced retention of organic matter within the soil, and more efficient nutrient cycling.

Further benefits include reduced input costs, such as labour and fuel, and minimises the impact on soil compaction from multiple passes of heavy machinery.

While conventional no-till systems often rely on herbicides for weed control, organic alternatives utilise diverse strategies such as cover cropping to naturally suppress weed growth.

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