Moisture loss in different slot types
Planning to Direct Drill
Planning is the key to direct drilling and reduced tillage techniques. Planning must take into account gross margins, marketing (if applicable), paddock history, crop rotation, soil type, fertility (using soil tests), weed history and densities as well as long term development plans. Flexibility of operation is also essential.
Good weed control is essential for successful establishment of a new crop or pasture.
Weed control is one of the main reasons for traditional cultivation practices - the ground-engaging tool physically cuts and tears the roots of unwanted plants from the soil.
Direct drilling calls for a different approach. Some of the alternatives available for weed control include:
-Spraying with herbicides
-A combination of the above
Timeliness of the seeding operation is critical for good germination, growth and best yield results.
There are two main aspects of timeliness you must consider:
-Always check the optimum seeding date for your district and seed on time.
-Ensure the best use of available moisture after rain by seeding while the soil is moist.
Use only good quality certified seed. Certified seed is guaranteed to meet a minimum standard germination percentage and to be free of weed seeds and impurities. Use the recommended seeding rate.
Your seed supplier or your local advisory officer can tell you how many kilograms per hectare (kg/Ha) you should sow. Adequate plant population will also help your establishing crop or pasture compete with weeds.
Be sure to inoculate legume seed with the correct strain of Rhizobia bacteria. Failure to inoculate could lead to a poor pasture stand. Talk to your seed supplier about inoculation and ask them to supply the inoculant.
Your seed supplier will also be able to advise about chemical protection of your seed for insect attack and various soil borne diseases.
Accurate seed placement is crucial for successful germination. Seed should always be covered and in contact with moist soil. Seeding depth varies with species and is generally related to seed size.
Small seeds generally need to be placed shallow. The Agrowdrill is capable of placing seed accurately at any depth from a few millimetres down to 75mm (3”). Ask your seed supplier or advisory officer how deep you should be sowing and adjust the Agrowdrill accordingly.
The Agrowdrill can be set up to seed at various row spacings. Sowing row spacing, if coulters are not fitted, can be virtually infinite.