Why not broadcast cereals with a fertiliser spreader to save the cost of a drill?

MX7

Member
Location
cotswolds
Now that grain drills are such a horrendous price, I was wondering if anybody of you have broadcast cereal seed on a field or two, as a trial .
The work rate using a fert spreader to spread cereal seed at 24mtr or more would be a game changer. If then followed with a 12mtr wide set of heavy drag harrows ( if such a set are made) to harrow the seed in, planting ones cereals would be a very quick operation.
Have any of you “tray tested” your spreader for wheat or barley to see what the spread pattern is like, so you know how much to overlap to get even seed distribution across the field, auto steer comes into own to get the job done accurately.
Also does broadcasting allow each individual seed more space to grow / tiller, unlike conventional rows as in attached pic
I ask the above as a retired farmer,seeing the price of machinery/implements going through the roof.
 

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alomy75

Member
I sat through an agronomy update last year with a chap who hadnt been able to get his vaderstad going for 2 years and had drilled everything with a spreader. He was questioning the same thing. Still did 10t at a fraction of the cost. Issues are seed depth (differing growth stages and pre-em damage), slugs and legality (if treated seed).
 

snarling bee

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Bedfordshire
If you use pre-em herbicides for weed control then the seed needs to be under 40mm of settled soil.
When I broadcast last season I used 600 seeds m2 to get the same plant count as 400 seeds drilled. That has a cost, approx £28k pa in my case.
My second hand drills are not worth £10,000 per metre. Probably one third of that.
 

MX7

Member
Location
cotswolds
If you use pre-em herbicides for weed control then the seed needs to be under 40mm of settled soil.
When I broadcast last season I used 600 seeds m2 to get the same plant count as 400 seeds drilled. That has a cost.
My second hand drills are not worth £10,000 per metre. Probably one third of that.
Many thanks for pointing that out.👍
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Now that grain drills are such a horrendous price, I was wondering if anybody of you have broadcast cereal seed on a field or two, as a trial .
The work rate using a fert spreader to spread cereal seed at 24mtr or more would be a game changer. If then followed with a 12mtr wide set of heavy drag harrows ( if such a set are made) to harrow the seed in, planting ones cereals would be a very quick operation.
Have any of you “tray tested” your spreader for wheat or barley to see what the spread pattern is like, so you know how much to overlap to get even seed distribution across the field, auto steer comes into own to get the job done accurately.
Also does broadcasting allow each individual seed more space to grow / tiller, unlike conventional rows as in attached pic
I ask the above as a retired farmer,seeing the price of machinery/implements going through the roof.
Already broadcast 200ha of cereals this season, and it's early days down here

The main reason you wouldn't is because the seed depth can be a lottery, which means pre-em is also a lottery, if you rely on pre-ems then seed really wants to be a uniform depth

of course many farm without all that, if there is little weed problem (most of these hectares will be pretty clean) then it works really well

one of the broadcast jobs from last year went over 13T (across 80ha) so it's perfectly respectable as an establishment method, and the savings add up
 

robs1

Member
When I first started growing corn I couldnt afford a drill and always broadcast it, it worked very well but compared to the cost of buying and running our simtech against buying and running a plough and a cultivator the drill is cheaper and that is without the pre em issue.
 
We have been broadcasting at least some of our cereal crops for years mostly because we are in a wet part of france and the weather can quickly catch you out.
If you get someone on a fert spreader and a couple of six metre cultivators following them you can cover some ground in a day.

After a couple of years of experimenting with pre emergence herbicides on broadcast crops we now use them routinely. This year we are growing mostly triticale and barley and its all had flufenacet 200 g/ha and diflufenican 100 g/ha pre emergence. I have seen more damage on direct drilling this year from pre emergence where the chemical has been washed into the slot than on broadcast crops.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
This was why ploughing with horses was done carefully and neatly with small furrow width. We used to hand broadcast onto such neat furrows that the seed fell into the grooves and once harrowed over it was all at the right depth. It even came up in rows. We even had a bean drill that fitted on the side of the horse plough.
A lot of that finesse was lost as things got bigger and bigger so it now it costs eleventy billion pounds …… to achieve the same end result….. and all the folks that would have been employed on it are sat on council estates watching day time TV.
 
This was why ploughing with horses was done carefully and neatly with small furrow width. We used to hand broadcast onto such neat furrows that the seed fell into the grooves and once harrowed over it was all at the right depth. It even came up in rows. We even had a bean drill that fitted on the side of the horse plough.
A lot of that finesse was lost as things got bigger and bigger so it now it costs eleventy billion pounds …… to achieve the same end result….. and all the folks that would have been employed on it are sat on council estates watching day time TV.

You must be at least 105 years old, Doc.
 

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