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One-Pass Alfalfa Seeder
A 12-ft. gooseneck bridge hitch lets Michael Ryan, Ryan, Iowa, pull a Gandy air seeder behind his 13-ft. grain drill to seed oats and alfalfa in one pass and apply starter fertilizer at the same time.
"It does a super job," says Ryan, who built the machine with the help of brothers John and Pat. "I do a lot of custom seeding of alfalfa and had been using the drill - a 1990 model 450 Deere - to seed both oats and alfalfa. The problem was that the Deere grass seed box is a 40-year-old design that doesn't hold much seed and is not easy or accurate to set. The Gandy air seeder holds 500 lbs. of alfalfa which lets me seed up to 40 acres without refilling with alfalfa. It's easy to calibrate and extremely accurate so I get a better stand. I pull a pair of field rollers from a Dunham Lear culti-mulcher right under the air seeder to help ensure a good stand. The front roller firms the seedbed while the rear roller rolls seed into the soil. Broadcasting the seed instead of drilling it in rows helps control erosion.
"The machine is very easy to maneuver. I use one hydraulic cylinder to raise and lower the rollers and another cylinder to raise and lower the drill. An electric clutch on the air seeder's metering device lets me shut off seed without having to raise the drive wheel when I turn at the end of the field. I flip a toggle switch in the cab to operate the clutch," says Ryan.
Ryan built the gooseneck hitch from 6-in. channel iron. The air seeder mounts on an angle iron framework above the culti-mulcher rollers and is powered by a hydraulic-driven blower. It delivers alfalfa seed between the rollers through eight hoses spaced 20 in. apart. A flat steel plate at the bottom of each hose scatters the seed. Two 100-gal. tanks mounted over the rollers deliver starter fertilizer to double disc openers on the up-front grain drill. The fertilizer pump and air seeder metering device are operated by a ground-driven wheel.
The bridge hitch arms are attached to a pivot point on the two rollers that allows the rollers to float up and down over rocks. The original dual wheels were mounted on the rear.
Ryan paid $3,200 for the Gandy air seeder (model 6212) and $1,000 for the culti-mulcher. Total cost (not counting drill) was less than $5,000.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Michael J. Ryan, RR, Box 154, Ryan, Iowa 52330 (ph 319 932-2089).

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #3