High-speed Air Seeding – Ten Days to Define Your Harvest!

“Whether you plant in the autumn or spring, there is typically only a ten-day window to get the precious seed into the ground – you have to act fast and accurately,” says Cameron McKenzie, Seeding & Tillage Manager for the...

High-speed Air Seeding – Ten Days to Define Your Harvest!

“Whether you plant in the autumn or spring, there is typically only a ten-day window to get the precious seed into the ground – you have to act fast and accurately,” says Cameron McKenzie, Seeding & Tillage Manager for the...

“Whether you plant in the autumn or spring, there is typically only a ten-day window to get the precious seed into the ground – you have to act fast and accurately,” says Cameron McKenzie, Seeding & Tillage Manager for the farm equipment brand, Challenger. “Indeed, within that crucial 10 days, there is the absolute optimum day when everything comes together to create the foundations for the best possible outcome for the harvest.”

“With speed of planting critical, the latest small-grain air drills are the quickest way to cover the hectares while at the same time ensure precise seeding in either conventional or conservation tillage practices,” Cameron explains.

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Good crop management means reducing as many risks as possible.  Timely planting rests on the days available to plant balanced with farm size. Operating larger equipment or moving at faster forward speeds can increase the productivity of the planting process. The objective is lowest cost of planting where investment in inputs (equipment/labour/seeds/chemicals) creates maximum yields whilst still working within the constraints of the planting window.

For successful seed germination, the ‘big three’ when it comes to planting management are adequate moisture, adequate temperature and adequate oxygen.

The correct moisture level is the key factor under your control. In dry soil, germination will simply not take place. In less than optimal moisture conditions, germination and emergence will be slow and uneven.

As for temperature, the chief crop management decision is seeding date. All crops will germinate more quickly in warm, moist soils. With deeper sowing, the seed is brought into a progressively cooler environment. Shallower sowing provides the warmest environment for germination.

Waterlogged soils are the main barrier to adequate oxygen levels and must be avoided at planting time.

Good seed-to-soil contact is necessary to ensure the seed has enough access to moisture to germinate quickly. Loose, cloddy seedbeds are peppered with air pockets that dry out the soil. Good soil closure (packing) around the seed helps minimise air pockets and maximise seed-to soil contact.

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