This project aims to improve no-till seeding systems which have evolved through farmer experience and manufacturer uptake. Technology adoption is greatly improved when growers have access to detailed knowledge of the factors affecting no-till sowing performance. Two key areas for knowledge improvement were identified, namely i) improving the performance of disc seeders in sticky soils and heavy stubble conditions, and ii) controlling the extent of soil disturbance with seeding tine openers. The project conducted pilot studies in tillage test track controlled environment on the soil throw characteristics of a wide range of commercial no-till seeding openers. A survey of disc seeder users was also conducted to benchmark the on-farm experiences of zero-till farmers. The effects of disc coulter blade style and settings on soil forces and rotational speed were investigated. Fundamental research is also being conducted in two postgraduate studies aiming to develop an improved understanding of:
- the mechanics of soil movement with no-till narrow opener technologies,
- the mechanics of soil/tool interaction with zero-till single disc seeding systems.
This project is co-funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and the University of South Australia for five years (2007-2013)
For further information, please contact John Fielke or Jack Desbiolles.