Published by AMTEC on 21st Nov 2022

8 Benefits of Using a Direct Drill for Seed Cultivation

Direct drills may be a large up-front investment for farmers, but they can pay back dividends by improving crop yields and farm productivity. Read our article to learn more.

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8 Reasons to Consider Switching to a Direct Seed Drill

Direct drilling is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional seed drilling methods and machinery. Though switching to a direct drill can present you with a hefty up-front cost, it reaps longer term benefits that help farmers reduce input costs and increase farm productivity. In this article, we’ll set out some of the basic need-to-knows around seed drills and direct drilling, before running through a handful of the ways a direct drill can help you boost your farm’s productivity.

What is direct drilling?

Direct drilling is a type of seed drilling, wherein a direct drill places seeds straight into the ground, in uniform rows, before covering them with soil. Direct drilling can have a number of advantages on farm productivity and crop yields.

What is seed drilling?

Direct drilling is a particular method of seed drilling. Seed drilling refers to the act of sowing seeds in uniform rows to a uniform soil depth, and this is most commonly done by using a specialised piece of farming equipment called a seed drill.

The seed drill first came to prominence in the UK in the 18th century, and is still used today, continuing to offer farmers a more efficient method of sowing seeds as opposed to hand-sowing. Seed drills bury and cover seeds in the soil in one pass, removing any possibility of birds or other seed predators removing the seeds from the seedbed, as well as reducing the chance that seeds will be blown away in the wind.

What are seed drills?

Seed drills are specialised pieces of farm machinery that can be dragged by a tractor to sow seeds. Seed drills bury seeds into the soil at a uniform depth, in rows. Browse our range of used seed drills to see examples of this type of machinery.

Now we’ve covered the basics on seed drills and direct drills, we’ll run through some of the main advantages of using a direct drill to sow your seeds.

Advantages of Seed Drilling

Direct drills save time

Direct drilling can save a huge amount of time, helping you improve your farm’s productivity and efficiency. Direct drilling exponentially speeds up the process of crop establishment, as it combines both tasks of soil/seedbed preparation, and seed sowing or distribution, in one clean pass. 

Direct drilling reduces labour

Direct drilling, moreover, reduces the need for labour. By combining seedbed preparation and seed distribution into one task, the labour requirement for sowing crop is halved.

Preserves ecosystems in the soil

Direct drilling also boasts a host of benefits for soil health. Firstly, as it’s a minimum tillage method, it helps to preserve ecosystems in the soil by causing less soil disturbance. Huge numbers of organisms make their home in the soil, and in doing so, they create a fertile environment within which crops can go. Direct drills create minimum disturbance to the soil, and in turn, preserve the ecosystems that live within it, allowing them to create healthy soil for crops to be planted into.

Reduces soil compaction

Using a direct drill can also, in turn, result in reduced compaction of the soil. As direct drills help to preserve ecosystems of the soil, small organisms can move throughout it, preventing compaction and strengthening the soil’s structure. Over-tilling the soil can be detrimental to its structure, but a direct drill can help to keep the soil’s structure strong while not compacting it.

Conservation of moisture 

Direct drilling also helps to conserve moisture in soil, further benefitting soil health. Direct drilling saves moisture by reducing soil disturbance and air exposure, and also by allowing most of the top layer of soil to be covered by harvest residues, which serve as protection against the evaporation or erosion of moisture.

As a result, direct drilling can have an economic benefit. Particularly in hot climates, water and moisture have a direct correlation with yields, so direct drilling can help to improve crop yields by reducing moisture loss.

Lower input costs

With the ongoing cost of living crisis, many are looking for ways to reduce their input costs. Because direct drilling helps to improve soil structures, and to reduce soil erosion, run-off of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilisers is also reduced. As a result, if you use direct drilling techniques, you won’t need to use as large an amount of chemical additives to your soil, as more of it will be retained within the soil’s structure.

Improves crop yields

Direct drilling improves crop yields. Direct seed drills plant seeds directly into the seedbed, so the risk of seeds being eaten by birds or being blown away by the wind is dramatically reduced. As a result, farmers generally see higher crop yields when using direct seed drills to distribute crops.

Better for the environment

Finally, as a result of all of the above benefits combined, direct drilling is also beneficial to the wider environment. Direct seed drills provide higher crop yields than other seed drilling techniques, and they do so with less labour, less time, and less waste of chemical additives, making them far more efficient and far better for the environment.

You can read our other articles to find out more about the pros and cons of direct drills.

Where can I buy used seed drills?

As one of the nation’s leading suppliers of used agricultural machinery, we offer a wide range of seed drills for sale, including popular models such as the Vaderstad Rapid, Horsch Sprinter, and more. With more than 25 years’ experience, we have the knowledge to help you get the best deal. Our 9-Acre site has hundreds of machines in stock. We’re conveniently located in central England.

Our customer-centric approach is at the core of everything we do, ensuring all the farmers that choose us as their equipment partner save time and money while making the best decisions for their needs. Contact us today by calling 01926 640637, sending an email to [email protected], or by using the form on our website. Discover the ways we can help - you won’t regret it!



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