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Seed & Fertiliser Drilling Options

We produced our first seed and fertiliser drills over a decade ago now and roughly 70% of customers since then have opted for the option to place fertiliser alongside the seed. Not only have we produced drills which can apply solid fertiliser, but also liquid and micro-granular products.

Now that agronomists and advisors are beginning to preach the benefits of fertiliser placement for all crops, we'd like to take the opportunity to explain how our seed and fertiliser option works and how we have integrated what we have learnt over the last decade into our Seed Drills.

Dale Drills full range of seed drills are available with the ability to apply seed and fertiliser as an optional extra.

The option includes the addition of a second electronic motor fitted to a metering unit which is constructed from a special grade plastic, protected from the corrosive nature of fertiliser. The seed hopper is split 50:50 using a baffle which includes a plate which is removed when the hopper is filled with one product only.

The additional electronic motor is controlled via the drills RDS Artemis Isocan control system. The system allows for the rate of fertiliser to be adjusted on the move and independently of the seed rate. Operators can manually adjust the rate as they travel across the field or a rate map can be produced and the tractors GPS links to the drills control system to automatically adjust the rate.

When utilising the seed and fertiliser option the fertiliser is placed down every alternate coulter. This means that when sowing seed only you can sow at 5" or 10", when you are placing fertiliser alongside the seed you can only drill at 10".

Typically the fertiliser is placed just alongside the seed at the same depth. As it is placed into moisture it soon dissolves and is absorbed by the soil beneath the seed. For those wanting to place the seed deeper, a deeper tine option is available allowing users to place the fertiliser up to 3" deeper than the seed.

Also available is a banded type coulter which places fertiliser 1" deeper than and down the middle of a 3" band of seed. This reduces the gap between rows whilst also ensuring positive rooting of crops.

We are often told at shows that fertiliser placement with drills is 'a thing of the past' and that the major issue was the corrosive nature of the fertiliser on the hoppers. With our decade of experience we know that our twin pack machinery enamel paint provides more than adequate protection against corrosion and to date we have had no issue in relation to corrosion from fertiliser (or anything else for that matter!!)

A major benefit the seed and fertiliser option brings is that the two separate hoppers can be used for whatever you want to drill. Many customers are splitting their cover crop mixes into large and small seeds preventing settling in the tank and ensuring an even spread of species across the field. Others are using the option to sow companion crops, with alternate rows of two different species spaces 5" apart.

To find out more about our seed and fertiliser option and anything else on our drills, get in touch via the contact us page and request a brochure or come and see us at LAMMA 2017 on Stand B70.

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