My home built no-till seed drill

   / My home built no-till seed drill #1  

spurlocktool

Bronze Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Messages
73
Location
N. California
Tractor
Kubota BX1500, BX2230
I have a 2 acre hillside no-till orchard that I seed with a cool weather legume mix each fall, then flail mow in the late spring for a mulch. I've been sowing by cutting shallow furrows with a spring tooth harrow, then hand-crank broadcasting and dragging to cover. It has always worked but lots of seed remains on the surface and is wasted. So I've finally built my own seed drill onto a modified disc harrow.

The heart of the machine is the seed metering system which uses neoprene blade outboard motor impellers running inside a 2 1/2" PVC pipe to carry seed from each input hole down to an output hole in even amounts and with no seed damage (I used a rigid rotor on an earlier prototype and found it broke too much seed). This new system works great in tests so far. It's a bit complicated to build, but if anyone is interested I have posted pictures here: Home built seed drill
Click on each picture to see a title and description, or click on sideshow.

I had to use only one gang of the two gang offset disc to lighten it enough to use on my compact Kubota BX1500. The single gang disc is not ideal because it pulls to one side, so on side slopes I need to only seed one direction or it wants to run off track downhill. Ideally a two gang offset disc can be used, modified so front and rear discs are essentially in one track and offset very little to make a narrow groove in the soil.

For tilled ground, depth control wheels could be added to limit cutting depth. But for my dry California fall soil it cuts about right on its own. I will follow seeding with a ring roller to pack the soil, but a small cultipacker type roller could be used instead of the scrapers I've made. This would set cutting depth as well as pack the seed.

The seed metering system works so well I just wanted to share it in case anyone else wants to adapt it to their needs. It could be run by electric motor instead of ground-driven and added to other implements or even a spring tooth harrow.
 

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   / My home built no-till seed drill #2  

beenthere

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Aug 16, 2001
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17,572
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Southern Wisconsin, USA
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JD_4x2_Gator, JD_4300, JD_X485, JD_425, JD_455, JD_110
That is an impressive home-built project. You have demonstrated some great skills and ingenuity.

Nice job.
 
   / My home built no-till seed drill #3  

JC-jetro

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Jul 16, 2006
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Location
Kansas
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Ford 1700, Kubota MX-4700
Great job. Thanks for sharing.:thumbsup::thumbsup:

JC:)
 
   / My home built no-till seed drill #6  

radioman

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May 21, 2008
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Ontario, NY
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Kubota BX24
awesome! Do you think it could be modified for grass seed ?
 
   / My home built no-till seed drill
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spurlocktool

Bronze Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Messages
73
Location
N. California
Tractor
Kubota BX1500, BX2230
awesome! Do you think it could be modified for grass seed ?

I don't think it would be suited to grass seed, since small seed needs to be planted very shallow. Also you would want complete coverage, not just rows of grass. A harrow followed by hand or tractor broadcasting then dragging to cover would probably be best for grass.
 
 
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