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Terrace Seeder Gets Cover Going On Steep Slopes
You've never seen anything quite like the terrace seeder built by Bill Gray of Correctionville, Iowa, who modified a pto-powered feed grinder to blow a mixture of oats and brome through a thick plastic hose up to a 20-ft. long, tractor-mounted boom that's hydraulically raised or lowered. Seed is blown onto the side of the terrace. Chains that hang from the boom cover it with soil.
  The boom a 4 by 6 toolbar off an old 6-row cultivator - is hinged to a steel frame originally designed to hold saddle tanks. Gray uses the rig to do custom seeding of terraces within a 100-mile radius of his farm.
  "It's amazing how well it works," says Gray. "I made it in 1991 and have seeded thousands of feet of terrace with it. I already had the feed grinder and saddle tank frame. I bought the cultivator toolbar at a junk yard. My total cost was only about $1,000."
  He removed the hammers from the feed grinder and cut an opening into the tank where he installed a homemade manifold that controls the amount of seed coming out. He bought the 4-in. dia., 1/4-in. thick plastic hose from a grain vacuum company and hooked it up to a blower. A curved piece of metal pipe at the end of the hose delivers seed onto the top of the terrace.
  He reinforced the back part of the tractor-mounted frame to better support the heavy boom. The boom is raised or lowered by a big hydraulic cylinder that manually swings in against the side of the tractor for transport. A steel support rod connected to the front of the tractor holds the boom rigid during use.
  To operate the machine Gray first engages the pto to mix the brome and oats inside the tank. Then he starts the blower to deliver seed through the pipe. A lever at the back of the machine is used to control the seed rate.
  "It works better than endgate seeders because it does a better job of mixing the lightweight brome grass seed and heavier oats seed,' says Gray. "Also, because the hose sucks the seed out of the tank, it isn't affected by sticks and dirt or leftover corn and beans.
  "I use my International 1066 tractor to pull it. The heavy boom really rocks the tractor around. I drive along both sides of the terrace and sow about 15 lbs. of brome and 3 bu. of oats per 1000 ft. Most of the seed comes out near the top of the terrace because I want to get a good stand there. After a year or so the brome grass seeds itself down the terrace.
  "It works great on even the steepest terraces. I've used it on giant terraces where I even had to set the boom almost straight up. I had to look up through the cab's side window just to see if the seed was coming out.
  "I've found that the best time to seed terraces is in the spring onto terraces that have been built the previous fall. That way the terrace has gone through a frost and the ground is fairly soft so the drag does a good job."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bill Gray, 1729 Story Ave., Correctionville, Iowa 51016 (ph 712 384-2370).

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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #2