Submitted to: Electronic Publication
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/3/2011
Publication Date: 3/18/2011
Citation: Digman, M.F. 2011. Calibrating your grain drill or seeder can save both seed and money. Clippings. (electronic newsletter of Midwest Forage Association) March 18, 2011. Available: http://www.midwestforage.org/pdf/525.pdf.pdf
Technical Abstract: The agronomic impact of over-seeding or under-seeding a field is complex. Most farmers have worked out a seeding rate with their agronomist. Exceeding that rate may not be productive, especially at $265+ per bag of alfalfa ($500 for switchgrass). Over-seeding costs add up, even across a small number of acres. If one plans to seed at a rate of 12 lb/acre and actually has a seeding rate of 14 lb/acre, the additional cost becomes a little over $10/acre of extra alfalfa seed. A seeding rate of 16 lb/acre raises the cost $20/acre. However, accurate calibration and proper care of the grain drill will pay important dividends to insure that the correct seeding rate occurs.