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  1. #1
    Gold Member
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    Aug 2013
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    Parker, CO
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    Kubota L3200hst

    Default Enough tractor & what prep for a grass drill? What should my plan B be?

    I just finished plowing with a subsoiler & running a tiller over half my 5 acres. Trying to recover from some severe overgrazing, compaction & weeds from the previous owner.

    The local conservation office rents a Truax Flex II no-till drill pretty cheap & I've been thinking about using it to seed things. I haven't been able to figure out what model, but they say you should have a 40hp tractor to pull it. My L3200 is 8hp short. Will I be able to pull this drill through my freshly tilled ground with my smaller tractor? It's pretty level ground.

    Also the ground is pretty fluffy after the tilling. I had been eying a cheap cultipacker on Craigslist, but was too slow. Should I be trying to jury rig up some kind of drag (chain link fence & fence posts) to just drag it smooth before trying the drill?

    If the drill won't be a good option & I end up broadcasting the seed, should I try and drag the ground before & after broadcasting?

  2. #2
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
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    6,358
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    Northern California-Tehama Co.
    Tractor
    2008 Mahindra 5525, 1964 MF-135 diesel, 1951 Farmall Super A, 1951 Minneapolis Moline BF, 1945 Oliver 60 Row Crop, 1949 JD B widefront

    Default Re: Enough tractor & what prep for a grass drill? What should my plan B be?

    What are you planting?

    On the tilled part I'd just broadcast the seed and press it in with some type of roller. A cultipacker is ideal for this job, but if you can't get your hands on one of these, then you might try to rig up a roller. I made one about 7-ft wide a few years ago using 10-inch diameter corrugated plastic culvert pipe and galvanized pipe/fittings filled with concrete.

    Why do you want to use a no-till drill on tilled ground? No-till drills are used on un-tilled ground and are heavy equipment with coulter discs and heavy coil springs designed to cut through the soil and surface debris and with chisel points to cut a planting groove in the un-tilled soil followed by packer wheels to cover the seed and press the soil into good contact with the seed for efficient germination.

    You probably can pull that no-till with 32 hp on level ground.

    Good luck

  3. #3
    Gold Member
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    Feb 2011
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    285
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    Oshkosh, WI
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    Kubota L3650, Bobcat 773

    Default Re: Enough tractor & what prep for a grass drill? What should my plan B be?

    Quote Originally Posted by flusher View Post
    What are you planting?

    On the tilled part I'd just broadcast the seed and press it in with some type of roller. A cultipacker is ideal for this job, but if you can't get your hands on one of these, then you might try to rig up a roller. I made one about 7-ft wide a few years ago using 10-inch diameter corrugated plastic culvert pipe and galvanized pipe/fittings filled with concrete.

    Why do you want to use a no-till drill on tilled ground? No-till drills are used on un-tilled ground and are heavy equipment with coulter discs and heavy coil springs designed to cut through the soil and surface debris and with chisel points to cut a planting groove in the un-tilled soil followed by packer wheels to cover the seed and press the soil into good contact with the seed for efficient germination.

    You probably can pull that no-till with 32 hp on level ground.

    Good luck
    +1. With that kind of ground prep I'd look for a primary seeder like a LandPride PS1572, which has a front and rear cultipacker wheel. They are far cheaper and less complex than a no-till drill. I call it a drop-type broadcast spreader - it has 10 seed cups, but instead of dropping the seed straight down into the opened furrow, it drops it onto a big plate which spreads the seed out to be packed in. (A no-till can't work like this as it must drop seed into the opened slot, so with a no-till drill you get "bare" areas between rows until they fill in.)

    The drill will definitely pull easier on that type of soil though... you won't need the full horsepower and that tractor will work.

    If you broadcast the seed, you'll definitely want to ensure good contact. A drag might do okay incorporating - I've never used one so I'm not quite sure, but I'd guess it'd be one of your better options for the price.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Deerherd's Avatar
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    315ver, NY
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    LS P7030 CPS, Ferris IS3100z w/37 HP Kawasaki

    Default Re: Enough tractor & what prep for a grass drill? What should my plan B be?

    You can use that planter on a prepared seed bed, just raise the no till blades, they are adjustable. You should get the most utilization of your seed this way and you won't need any other equipment.

    Also these can be heavy units and if my memory serves me right, (which gets worse by the minute) I believe it takes a cat 3 sized pin to hook up to the three point, so bushings may be in order.

    If you find the seeder too much, you can do a pretty bang up job with a tined drag harrow, broadcast spreader and cultipacker. Firm seed contact with the ground is key. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Elite Member smstonypoint's Avatar
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    SC (Upstate) & NC (Piedmont)
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    NH TN 55, Kubota B2320 & RTV 900, Bad Boy Outlaw 61" ZTR

    Default Re: Enough tractor & what prep for a grass drill? What should my plan B be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deerherd View Post

    Also these can be heavy units and if my memory serves me right, (which gets worse by the minute) I believe it takes a cat 3 sized pin to hook up to the three point, so bushings may be in order.
    Please explain. I'm guessing that the OP's 3PH is Cat 1.

    Steve

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    Oshkosh, WI
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    Kubota L3650, Bobcat 773

    Default Re: Enough tractor & what prep for a grass drill? What should my plan B be?

    I think the rentals are usually the pull-behinds.

  7. #7
    Gold Member
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    Parker, CO
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    Kubota L3200hst

    Default Re: Enough tractor & what prep for a grass drill? What should my plan B be?

    I'm just planting grass, something along the lines of hardy native grasses. Was debating towards a pasture type mix, but we don't have any livestock other than chickens & I don't want the work.

    I was looking at the no-till drill because the local county extension office has it is available for rent close & cheap. Haven't found any other drills of any sort for rent around at any price.

    It looks to be a pull type rather than 3pt. DCCD Grass Seed Drill Counting the drop tubes in the picture I see 8, so I'm assuming it's the 3,000lbs FLXII-88.

  8. #8
    Gold Member
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    Oshkosh, WI
    Tractor
    Kubota L3650, Bobcat 773

    Default Re: Enough tractor & what prep for a grass drill? What should my plan B be?

    Yeah, you'll be fine with the L3200 on your soil. I would rent/borrow a lawn roller or cultipacker or something to level the fluff and give a good seedbed, then hit it with the Truax. It will provide much more accurate placement, distribution and soil contact than broadcasting. (Our county rents the same one - it's a decent unit.) Do note if it's the same as ours, it requires auxiliary hydraulics to operate.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member Deerherd's Avatar
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    315ver, NY
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    LS P7030 CPS, Ferris IS3100z w/37 HP Kawasaki

    Default Re: Enough tractor & what prep for a grass drill? What should my plan B be?

    Quote Originally Posted by smstonypoint View Post
    Please explain. I'm guessing that the OP's 3PH is Cat 1.

    Steve
    Yeah, and I'm guessing I better stop posting before my second cup of coffee because now that I'm awake that is a tow planter. A mind is a terrible thing to waste........

    And on the 3pt planter it was pins, not bushings. I will ban myself from posting for 24 hours.

  10. #10
    Gold Member
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    Parker, CO
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    Kubota L3200hst

    Default Re: Enough tractor & what prep for a grass drill? What should my plan B be?

    Thanks for the info. Will figure out some kind of packer roller solution. I have 3 ports if I rob from my TnT. Heck, I have CAT 3 hooks on my quick hitch too, not that I could lift CAT 3 weights.

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