Seed and Fertiliser Placement: Issues to consider for no-till tine drills
Zero-till seeding tines can place seeds and fertilizer in various configurations within the furrow (Fig. 1). The issue of seed placement accuracy is critical to the success of no-till crop establishment, and the primary aim of the seeding operation is to place seeds at an optimum depth within an optimum furrow, and maintain this uniformly across the drill width and the entire field. The optimum depth of seeding under dryland farming varies with many factors such as crop type, variety (coleoptile length), seed batch quality, furrow moisture conditions at seeding, furrow consolidation, furrow moisture loss post-seeding and subsequent rainfall events.
Seeding depth accuracy is achieved at two levels: i) accurate placement of seeds within the furrow and ii) uniform and optimum height of soil cover. When these are combined with a constant furrow depth across the field (such as with land contour following tine technology), the best outcomes in seeding accuracy can be achieved. Implementing all possible options to optimize seeding accuracy on every seed row of the drill and across the whole field is a worthwhile investment.