Plan NOW for Spring Conservation Seeding


As I sit down to write, we are currently in a winter storm warning. The last thing most people would think of is spring seeding, but on a cold day like this, it’s a perfect time to plan new practices for 2023. Maybe you would like to try no-tilling soybeans or alfalfa or reseed and improve a pasture. Maybe you would like to plant native prairie for pollinators or corn and clover for a wildlife food plot.

Whatever conservation practice goal you may have in mind for the new year, the Rice SWCD has the tools to help make your planting a success. We will once again have the Great Plains No-Till Drill, Dew Drop seeder, and hand seeder ready for renting for those who are interested.

The Great Plains 1006NT Drill is a 10ft pull-type no-till drill with 7.5-inch row spacings and is equipped with three seed boxes to drill a wide variety of seed including soybeans, native grasses and forbs, alfalfa, and many other species. The Great Plains drill fee is $125 for delivery, and $10 per acre seeded. An acre meter is positioned on the drill to record the number of seeded acres. It is recommended that a tractor with at least 70hp is used. The tractor will need to have one set of hydraulic remotes as well.

(Watch our Great Plains Drill in action in this YouTube video:

The Dew Drop seeder is a 3ft pull-type drop seeder. It is designed to be used behind small utility tractors and ATVs. It has an electric drive clutch that can be engaged or disengaged by the use of a remote, as well as a set of coulters on the front of the seeder which can be raised and lowered to prepare the seed bed.

Since this is a drop seeder, the seed will not be planted in rows. It will simply be dropped sporadically under the machine. If incorporation is desired most users will make a second pass with the coulters down and drive clutch disengaged. Other users will hook a drag or cultipacker to the rear of the seeder to help incorporate seed in a single pass.

This seeder can handle a wide variety of seeds from corn and soybeans to grass seeds for lawns. Rental rates for the Dew Drop Seeder are $90 per business day, plus $50 if delivery is requested. A small utility trailer is used to transport the seeder from site to site, so all that is needed to pick up the seeder is a 2” ball and a hookup for trailer lights. In order to pull the seeder itself, all that is required is a 1 7/8th ball.

Rice SWCD also has a hand seeder available for anyone with smaller seeding projects such as pollinator gardens or backyard prairie plantings that may be too small for a drill. The hand seeder is available to rent for $5, with a $20 holding deposit.

If you look out the window into the snowy abyss, it is hard to believe that in a few months, you will be in the field and hoping the weather cooperates for a good 2023 planting season. If you are interested in renting the Great Plains No-till Drill, or the Dew Drop seeder, don’t hesitate to call Rice SWCD @ 507-334-5408 or email to reserve your spot. Both machines are typically in use for most of the spring planting season, so it is best to reserve a spot to ensure the machine gets to you when you are ready to plant.


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