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Discussion Starter #1
After the 2019 season I thought it was time to do what I can to make sure this kind of late harvest never happens again. Way too hard on the mind.
One weakness in my operation is even and timely germination. I have been using these 3.5 inch eagle spread tips for 10 yrs and seed every crop with them. They let me get a lot of ESN and fertilizer down in one pass which is great. Downside is uneven germination which hasn't been a big problem until this year. Usually the season evens out or we swath. These tips can throw a lot of dirt.

In lentils the eagle tip makes a rougher finish which doesn't roll down as good. The lentils can split if the fan speed is too high so I have to turn it way down. I have seeded lentils with these one inch knives before and they seem to work well enough. Bourgault calls these fertilizer knives, not sure if they were meant to seed with.

For durum, I will probably stay with the eagle tips mainly because we are experimenting with high seed rates in the 2.5 bu range and these tips give good seed separation. Germination is more forgiving in cereals and field finish not a huge factor.

That leaves canola and flax. Need to get something with better placement. Could try these knives or go more back to some wider opener but low draft and better suited to shallow placement. I thought about a spoon type opener for that.

Thoughts?
157977
 

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Wet spring great germination

Dry spring and it’s a challenge.

worse thing about thoes old Non parlalink drills is they never seed evenly. Lest that what I find with our old NH drill
 

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What packers do you have? I have 4.5 inch tips on a Blue Flexicoil with 4.5" rubber capped packers and it is pretty impressive for germination (for a hoe drill). I assume you have narrow rounded or V packers on your Bourgault since most of them did. I would say you are too wide with the spread tip then and that is your issue. I don't think I would want to go any wider than 1.5" if you have the narrow V packers, not much more than 2" if they are rounded.
 

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It is the same old trade off. Wider spread gives you the ability to put more fert down but poorer seed placement. And visa versa for narrow openers.
We are happy with 1” Bourgault tips on our 5710. Even with those we find 4 mph makes canola placement much more consistent. However, we need to apply our N at a different time.
I rarely see 5710’s out west with harrows in front of the press wheels. In our conditions they are a huge improvement to the drill.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The springs are usually a mixed bag around here, wet or dry or sometimes both. The eagle tips can throw lumps in either case and on to the adjacent row before the gang packers can go over it. We have 3 inch flat rubber packers.

In the oilseeds we are very dependent on that first rain to get everything going and that is often where the unevenness comes in. Some will germinate from spring moisture, the rest has to wait for a shower. This year, most had to wait a month before that came.
 

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You have to put seed in the moisture for it to germinate. You see it around us with every kind of drill. Seed too shallow and it will come up uneven.
seeding into dry dirt and hoping for a rain isn’t a good strategy. This year it really showed up with guys seeding canola into dry dirt. Our depth gets checked every field and adjusted if needed. A 5710 is so easy to adjust when we ran one it would sometimes get changed 2-3 times per field to try and get it where we wanted.
 

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Why not buy a used set of disc levellers. We have run levellers on our drill and they greatly help with depth control and also helps Edith germination by providing the same soil cover behind each row before it is packed. Is your drill double or single shoot? If it is single shoot and you need new openers it may be cheaper to buy a used drill set up the way you want instead of retrofitting.
 

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Our 5710 needs openers this spring. I have the 1" carbide tips. Last yr due to wore out 3 1/2" steel packers and their price to replace them, I purchased some used 3" rubber packers. This dry spring I noticed germination was more difficult in dry conditions with these flatter 3" rubber packers on the narrow openers. The steel seems to get in the trench better and break the clay up better getting the soil around the seed better. Rubber seemed to be ride up above and not do much. So I am sitting on the fence on wider openers like 2" wondering if the packers will do a better job. Sorry for jumping in your post here jazz but as usual I started typing and got long winded with questions of my own.
 

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In heavy wet clay I much prefer a rubber packer over steel ones. They shed the mud much better. The newer the rubber caps the better they shed the mud.
 

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If you are single shooting the fertilizer burn is probably causing the poor germ in the dryer years.

Seen 57’ flexicoil drills with 430 tanks that were mint sell for $28 on dealer lots. Openers were like new. As mentioned by others maybe could get whole unit for not much more than a set of openers. Dealers will take a big discount from ask on hoe drills in lots of areas.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Seen 57’ flexicoil drills with 430 tanks that were mint sell for $28 on dealer lots. Openers were like new. As mentioned by others maybe could get whole unit for not much more than a set of openers. Dealers will take a big discount from ask on hoe drills in lots of areas.
I am seeing those discounts too but these machines all have beat up steel packers. Very few with decent rubber. My machine still has good rubber on it which is must have on the gumbo.
 

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We use a 2 inch spoon on our 8810 with 10 inch spacing and 4 inch rubber K-Hart packers with the 2 bar harrows in front of the packers. Have found the spoons to be the most versatile opener in our soils. We used to sow with the 3/4 (??) Bourgault knives when we put NH3 down with the mid row banders and liked nothing about that set up at all. We now put 46 down with our old drill before seeding in the spring. Trying to put full rates of fertilizer down with the seed can cause all kinds of headaches, especially in a dry spring. We have heavy soils and being too dry in the spring is seldom a problem. We used to use Bourgault spoons but switched to a different brand a few years back and like them better, can't think of the name right now.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
We have heavy soils and being too dry in the spring is seldom a problem. We used to use Bourgault spoons but switched to a different brand a few years back and like them better, can't think of the name right now.
Thanks Kevlar, so you are a 2 pass seeding operation in the spring? Why not fall banding?

Are the spoons good in canola? They sure look low draft and angled better for shallow seeding. I used them when I first started farming but I wasn't growing canola then.
 

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Thanks Kevlar, so you are a 2 pass seeding operation in the spring? Why not fall banding?

Are the spoons good in canola? They sure look low draft and angled better for shallow seeding. I used them when I first started farming but I wasn't growing canola then.
Leaving the stubble makes for better skidooing!!! lol We find we have the best results working everything in the spring, we need to blacken it up a bit to help warm the soil, and often in the fall if it's dry the ground is so hard you can barely get anything to penetrate, years ago dad wore out a set of shovels in the fall doing 300 acres. We tried one pass seeding for several years (way too many) and just couldn't get it to work for us, especially on wet years.

Yes they are very low draft and leave a nice finish. I'm happy with them doing canola. One of the biggest improvements I found with canola was when we got a duel shoot tank and stopped putting the sulfur down with the seed, found a lot of damaged seeds with the higher wind speeds and assume the fertilizer going down the hoses ground the seed up a bit also. We used to put the sulfur down the mid row banders but took them off and now have a broadcast kit on the front of the drill and blow it out front of the drill. Really like this set up except you have to watch as it's a little slow as the product comes out of the rear tank to the front of the drill, a bit of a delay. Now with just the seed and phos going down together I can run a lot lower fan speeds and believe less seed bounce, so accuracy is pretty decent.
 

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Jass the other thing you can do to help yourself especially when seeding canola is to seed 90 degree to the direction you seeded last year. Seed placement and straw clearance is much better because depressions, grooves, ruts, tire tracks etc from the previous year do not affect your depth control as much.
 

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I think I have tried 8 different kinds of openers/shovel combinations over the years and I never found one that worked for one pass seeding with canola without mid row banders. The last system I had before I sold my shank machine was the dutch with the interchangeable tips. I used the twin row for cereals and the 3/4 inch for beans and canola and that was the best I ever found .But that meant a separate Nitrogen and Sulfur application. For the beans at low speed it was almost as good as the disc drill. I always found that the spread needs to be less than the width of the press by about 1/3 because too many escape outside the packing strip otherwise. And that any dirt that makes it into an adjacent row ahead of the press wheels is a killer, especially a slab. I ended up buying a 3 point fert spreader and so far it's been great. It gets done just before the land is dry with a small track tractor and that has worked well for us. It was my number one quandary on the farm for years. What opener, what seeding tool.
 

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I’ll probably get crucified for this, but for canola I band my fertilizer with shovels, and harrow pack after, I find it brings up a bit of moisture, gets any small weeds coming so it saves a pre-seed burn down, and leaves a mat of stubble to keep from drying too much. I’ve been thinking of switching to spoons to seed but haven’t tried that yet. For wheat I just drop the seed on the first moisture I hit and go.
 

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Had trouble with germination on canola with my 5710 it has 2” tips and 3.5 steel packers
What I did was put all my sulfer and half my pho’s down the mrb along with 46-00. Slowed down to 3.8 mph and put on seed brakes that seemed to make a world difference
 
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