Are you thinking of buying a vertical tillage implement but wondering if you’ll get enough use out of it to justify the expense? What if it could double as your seed drill, would that change the equation?
Jim Boak, sales manager at Salford Group, says his company has been doing field trials using a vertical tillage tool to seed a variety of crops since 2006, and the results have impressed him. Using models in the brand’s “Independent Series”, fields seeded with Salford vertical tillage implements have actually seen wheat yields surpass check fields seeded with a regular drill, he says.
Those trials have included seeding alfalfa and canola, which need very precise and very shallow placement. Boak says the results in those crops have been impressive as well.
With many regions of the prairie suffering from saturated ground, getting winter wheat seeded this fall could be a challenge in some places. But using a vertical tillage implement to seed under these conditions could be the ideal solution, Boak thinks. It would allow farmers to get seed in the ground with good placement accuracy, take advantage of the soil moisture to speed germination and help dry out excess soil moisture in the process. So the company is making a demonstration unit available to farmers in Southern Saskatchewan.
An I-2141 model, which has a 40-foot working width, with an attached Salford seed cart will be ready in the next few days. It will be at Salford’s Regina, Sask, dealer, Tri-Star Farm Services. Kellen Huber, owner of Tri-Star, says the dealership will be taking the unit out to the Roleau area south of the city and putting it to work in fields there.
Huber says this will be the first time a Salford vertical tillage implement has been involved in field trials on the prairie, and the unit he’ll be running will also be putting down about 190 pounds of fertilizer with the seed. That will make it a true one-pass seeding implement. But unlike typical air drills that won’t require a double or triple-shoot arrangement.
Instead, all seed and product will flow down the same seed tubes, which drop it on the ground and rely on the vertical movement of soil from the discs to provide a covering layer. As the seed and fertilizer hit the ground, they spread out a bit, so seed mortality from close proximity to high levels of nitrogen shouldn’t be a problem.
The seed tubes are on the I-2141 demo unit are on 7 ½ inch row spacings. In previous field trials Salford has also experimented with a broadcast style seed placement, using an arrangement similar to that typically found on granular applicators.
Boak estimates the I-2141demo should be able to cover 30 to 40 acres per hour.
A vertical tillage implement rigged for seeding could also be used for fall banding of fertilizer and still give growers that ability to dry out wet fields in a single pass, making it more likely they’ll be able to get into soggy fields next spring.
Anyone in the area who’d like to have the vertical tillage seeder come to their farm or see it in action and take a close look at its performance can contact Tri-Star at 877-581-1603 or through their website www.tristarfarms.com.
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