2021 - Volume #BFS, Issue #21, Page #49
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One-Pass Pasture Aeration, Reseeding
Don Brown gets a lot done in a single pass with what he calls his BRO pasture aerator. Between the 4 wavy coulters, Shankpot Seeder, and rear hitch, he can slice furrows, spread seed and pull a drag to bury seed contact and scatter manure. The results make a difference for his flock of Bluefaced Leicester and Lincoln sheep.
  When I started my sheep flock, I knew I needed quality grass for quality animals, says Brown. I looked at ways to improve the pastures, but commercial machines were hard to justify or didnt work the way I wanted.
  Brown custom-builds his BRO system for $2,500. Thats a lot less than some of the alternatives, like a 4-ft. wide, no-till drill for around $14,000, or deep-tillage rigs that require high horsepower tractors.
  Before building his system, he read about how one farmer used a box scraper to aerate, so he tried it. I turned the teeth around and made 2 passes across the pasture, recalls Brown. I looked back, and it looked ugly, but it gave me the idea of mounting worn plow coulters to an old cultivator frame. I liked how they sliced through the surface.
  Brown decided to design an aeration/seeder combination from the ground up. With the help of a neighbor, who is a good welder, he used 1 by 3-in. tubular steel for the 2 1/2 by 6-ft. frame. He mounted coulters 16 to 18 in. apart and put a receiver hitch on the back to let him hook on a drag.
  A 4-ft. wide drag covers the disk slots to increase seed-to-soil contact, says Brown. Ill use an 8-footer in the late winter or early spring to spread manure if there is a cluster in one area.
  Without down pressure on the 3-pt. hitch, Brown knew he would need to add weight. He used 3-in. angle iron to make a tray for cinder block weights.
  The coulters stay in the ground, even when Im turning, says Brown. I went with wave coulters because they open up the ground more than straight coulters.
  To scatter seed, Brown avoided motors and went with a vibration driven Yeomans Shankpot seeder. The Australian made seed box costs around $600 and is designed for use behind a plow. Dial up seed slots of 5/8-in. to 1 1/16-in. allow about any size seed to vibrate out of the seed box onto an 18-in. disk that scatters it behind the coulters. A patented jigger system prevents seed from clogging up the seed drop.
  I spread about 8 lbs. of seed every 3 acres, says Brown. I mostly use pasture mixes, but I will add some larger seed like wheat or rye to visually check that seed is falling.
  For another visual check of seed getting spread, Brown cut a slot in the side of the seed box facing the tractor and covered it in Plexiglas.
  I have 36 acres of pasture split into 10 paddocks, all with water, says Brown. I try to use my aerator/seeder 5 times a year, usually when I move my sheep flock out of a paddock. It works especially nice after a rain.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Don Brown, 31024 Township Rd. 11, Fresno, Ohio 43824 (ph 330 763-0494; don.pllc@gmail.com).

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2021 - Volume #BFS, Issue #21