| Air seeder and Air drill pros and cons|
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|Hey Guys, |
We have been seeding with discers and conventional drills since the dawn of time and are thinking about moving into the air powered units.
What are some pros and cons between air seeders and air drills from the guys who have used both on their farms?
|I'm assuming you are meaning that the airseeder has harrows and an airdrill has the mounted packers. We bought an airseeder (Morris Concept 2000) in 1997 when we were making the switch to zero/min till. We ran it till 2003. Then traded it on a Morris Maxim air drill. We have liked going to an airdrill for a number of reasons but the main thing is that you have the on-row packing. Many guys that have an air-seeder are either pulling a packer behind or are harrowpacking behind the air seeder. I think in a very dry year, not having the on-row packing would be a big concern with seed-soil contact being not as good as with an air-drill. I think the depth control is somewhat better on an airdrill and would be much better if you go to a parallel link drill (SeedHawk, Seedmaster, Morris contour master, or Bourgault para-link). |
The only time where I have wished that we had an airseeder was in an extremely wet spring. If you are trying to seed in really wet soil, the harrows on airseeder covered up the seed sufficiently while still allowing you to travel in the mud. An air drill will typically have more trouble in mud. Having said that, we did use our air drill in the spring of 2005 which was really wet and we had excellent germination. I have been surprised as to how wet we can seed in using the air drill.
Air drills are typically more expensive for the same number of feet and will probably have a better resale because the industry seems to be moving away from air seeders.
One way to try would be to buy an airseeder that has the option of switching between packers and harrows. Our Concept 2000 had that option. However, we felt that the plastic packers that came with it weren't heavy enough to do a good job of packing. Bourgault makes something that would do this. I think it is an 8800. The JD airseeders with harrow/packer option is a nice unit. My cousin has one and they have good packers. The model # for those would be an 1810 (1820, 1830) or the older model of that style of drill was an 737 (I think?).
Hope that helps
|Thanks for the input mennoby. |
Ed - I did a search through old material and came across the thread you linked to - that thread talked a lot about air vs conventional - not quite what I am asking.
I just want the pros and cons of air drills vs air seeders from guys that have used both.
My cousin runs a 64' air drill and loves it - but they never really used an air seeder so it's hard to compare the two...
Sorry for the cofusion.
North Central Montana
|Menneboy hit it right on about the on row packing and seed to soil contact. Some of our ground this year had the top ~1 1/2"completely dry and crusted. Still we were able to pack the seed into the moisture because of the air drill. We ran a JD 730 air disc seeder for a few years before going to an air drill. Always had a great stand but thats because we would luck out and get an inch rain after seeding. At times you could go back and find the seed just sitting in the dry dirt.|
|I see you are using the knock on shovels, are you still using them? what size for your 12" spacing..we use 9" on our 9" been good and the easiest thing to change...I can't believe I used to use hoe shovels with bolts....ugh...|
Ste. Rose, MB
We switched from dd press drills to a JD 1820 Air Drill a few years ago. Best move we ever did. Like you, we contemplated Air Seeder or Air Drill & chose the drill. Talked to a lot of farmers in the area & general consensus was Air Drill, mainly for the reasons that mennoboy stated. Most of the guys that were using an air seeder thought it was better to have an Air Drill. Actually ended up buying our air drill in Kindersley, SK over the phone. Was brand new & sitting on the lot for two years because it wasn't wide enough for the farmers out there. Worked out perfectly for us & got it for a lot less money too!
Where abouts in SK are you at & what do most guys use in your area?
|Mad Max Perf|
North Western Alberta
|Im going to digress a bit boys.... I have a Flexi-coil air seeder, 41'. It just has the tine harrows. I have Dutch Paired row openers on it, and double shoot. I have for two years in a row done packing tests, and have not been able to make packing imprve germination one bit. I have foot packed test strips on the dryest spots that I have seeded, and seen absolutely ZERO differnce. My tank is a pull behind.. and you cant see the cart tracks. I direct seed, so my theory is, that with the cooling and warming of the soil, the seed gets enough moisture from the soil sweating and warming..... I have foot packed 20 foot sections, both hard and just a little bit of packing, and I cant get it to show any difference. Not even a BIT.... |
So, all I have been hearing, goes against my tests. That is the very reason that IM not in a hurry to upgrade to an Air Drill. I thought I would be, and until I prove myself wrong... I wont change till then. Just my 2 cents.... its worth what you paid for it... lol
Yes, still using knock-on shovels. In fact, I just sprung for a brand new set before I started seeding this spring. I use 11" McKay sweeps. The Concord is a 10" spacing tool.
Been looking for a newer model Concord or Case-IH with 10" spacing but they're scarce! Lots of 12" around.
|I just now after reading your post learned that there was or is concords with less than 12" spacing...well, I can't say I'm not still learning something new everyday... |
we use 2 sets a season if the shovel hasn't been modified....if we hard surface 1.5 sets and we got some used with the carbide tip welded on and they look like a 1 set plus setup.
|Mad Max, |
Can't argue with that. Might be a difference of "here" to "there". Soil types might make a difference as well. We have found that it mostly makes a difference in oilseeds (canola and flax). If it works, keep doing it.
|Here is a little research that was done on the affects of one row packing by air seeders. http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/eng9901 |
I also have a question, what is the difference between an "air drill" and an "air seeder"? Disc openers vs hoe openers?
|I am farming outside of Saskatoon, SK. Most guys have air drills but air seeders are common as well. |
Good information so far, please keep it coming --> this is not going to be a 'cheap' investment...
|Mad Max Perf|
North Western Alberta
|Air seeder is a cultivator, converted to a seed tool.... runs on all wheels.... not the packers. Not quite as accurate seed depth placement, maybe... but that is debatable too.. |
Air Drill.... has the back of the seed tool, supported by the packer assembly. Meaning, instead of the back set of wheels there for depth control, and support, there is the packers. Just think regular ole' box drill... how the chassis is supported and rides on the packers... well, an air drill is the same. Hope that explains it???
|Thanks, Mad Max. That is how I understood the terminology as used by Albertans. In the regions where air carts are relatively new technology (anywhere besides AB, SK, MB, ND, and MT), the terms are used interchangeably -- I often hear of modern gauge-wheel type models being referred to as 'air seeders.'|
|Most guys in our area run an air-drill and we have run both and for us where moisture is not a problem I honestly can't tell a difference. On our air-seeder we had mounted packers and I can't tell much of a difference besides it pulling way easier since it was way lighter. I think most people run an airdrill since they see it as the next upgrade to an air-seeder. We have midrow banders on our air-drill though and would never go to another system, and I am not sure if you can get MRB on an airseeder. We farm N.E. of saskatoon an hour and a half.|
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