If you change how you deliver seed to the ground, what else has to change?
From fertilizer planning, to seeding rate, to weed control, the planter vs. seeder decision isn’t as easy as which unit does the most consistent job. To explore considerations for canola and soybeans, and to kick off the 2022 season of The Agronomists, we go to Horst Bohner, soybean specialist with Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Doug Moisey, agronomist for central Alberta with Pioneer Seeds Canada, a division of Corteva.
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The new countdown music, are we for or against? Turn up the funk!
OK, now seeders or planters?
A focus on canola and soybeans tonight
After establishment, how do things change when using a planter versus a seeder?
Precision placement, lowering seeding rates, good depth control with a planter, but there’s open discussion
Seed clumping, 8 or 9 plants clumped together
Planters are a bit slower, and when there’s a lot of acres to get in the ground…
Efficiency. Fast, fast, fast says Bohner. Four to five day stretch for planting soybeans
Biggest driver in Ontario and most of the U.S. is seed cost. Soybeans is no exception. Add in seed treatments on top of that and precision planting becomes attractive
Most planters sold in western Canada are 22 to 36 inch row spacing, and as canola gets more space, it can hinder days to ground cover, which might mean another herbicide application, and then hinders days to maturity
Ground cover and time to canopy closure is going to be a big factor with herbicide shortages
How much does air flow or velocity contribute to mortality in both canola and soybeans in planters versus drills?
Newer drills have a better direct system, but there’s still damage that happens, and fertilizer can act like a “battering ram”
Constantly adjusting fan speed. In a paired-row system, and too high a fan speed, could be putting seed down the middle
In soybeans, it comes down to seed quality when it’s going down the air drill or conventional drill
What are the optimal seeding rates for planters versus drills, based on the same row width?
With a planter, canola seed survivability will probably go up… maybe about 75 per cent survivability
Depth and speed are utmost for canola
The wonder of the soybean… they help each other up (Seed Bohner’s slides)
Seeding speed with a lot of moving parts, you can see the seeder rise and fall. Put a 5 gallon pail of water on the end wing of your drill and see how fast it gets emptied
The difference between 3, 4, or 5 miles per hour can mean 1/4″ to 1.5″