1992 - Volume #16, Issue #2, Page #06[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Truck Tire Alfalfa SeederYou can make a state-of-the-art alfalfa seeder by mounting an air seeder on rollers made out of old truck tires, ac-cording to Harlan Anderson, Cokato, Minn., who says he built the seeder "after trying just about every other method of seeding alfalfa".
"We have about 500 acres of alfalfa that we rotate with our other crops. Stand establishment is our biggest problem. We've tried grain drills, dropping seed and dragging over the seed, and even seeding with Brillion roller-packers. The problem with using a drill or just drop-ping seed on the ground is that you don't get good enough seed-to-soil contact. Seeding with Brillion-style packers works good but you have to go slow or you'll break the cast iron packers and they plug up easily in moist soil. One of the best methods we found was dropping the seed with a drill followed with a Brillion packer. This improved seed-tosoil contact but was slow and took too much labor.
"Three years ago we came up with the idea of making 11-ft. wide rollers out of large semi-truck tires slipped over a 20-in. dia. steel pipe. Tires can be pulled faster without fear of breakage and we welded in the ends of the pipes and filled them with water for extra weight.
"There are three gangs of rollers, with one in front and two behind, for a total width of 30 ft. The two rear rollers move in for a 20 ft. road width. We plan to modify the hitch so we can pull them one behind the other for longer road trips.
"To eliminate the need fora grain drill, we mounted a Gandy air unit on the front roller, equipped with 12 seed hoses. Four hoses run to the front side of each roller. An orbit motor drives the blower on the seeder while a metering wheel runs against the top of the truck tires.
"We're able to seed 15 to 20 acres per hour. When the field is finished, we pull the tire rollers over the field again at a 30? angle to compact soil left unpacked between tires and also to increase seedto-soil contact. It's now a pleasure to seed alfalfa and we can finish an 80 acre field in one day. Requires less than 100 hp. for the 30-ft. seeder.
"We plan to experiment with soybeans this spring.
"Although we are not in the business of building these seeders, we'd be happy to assist anyone interested. We spent a total of about $6,500 to build it."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Harlan R. Anderson, Rt. 1, Box 55, Cokato, Minn. 55321 (ph 612 286-5682).
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