DIRECT SEEDING OFFERS SAVINGS FOR BOTH THE FARMER AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Finding new and better ways to grow the crops needed for the world’s burgeoning population is the daily focus of successful crop farmers around the world. Many methods that have been used successfully in the past are now becoming too costly, to both the farmer and the environment. These costs have given rise to the development of new and better equipment and techniques in the agricultural industry. One of the most exciting of these involves the process known as direct seeding.
What is Direct Seeding?
Basically defined as a method that does not require the soil to be disturbed prior to planting, direct seeding allows seeds to be planted directly into the soil, with no prior need for plowing, tilling and furrowing. When done on the large scale necessary for crop farming, the technological advances in the machinery used for the process of direct seeding can even combine tasks, such as the application of fertilizer, effectively allowing the farmer to make just one pass through the field.
Why Is Direct Seeding Gaining Popularity Now?
Soaring fuel and labor costs are applying pressure to farmers who have previously experienced success using the old, labor-intensive methods of plowing, tilling, and transplantation. In addition to struggling with these issues, scarcity of rainfall is causing water tables to fall significantly in many of the major crop producing regions, further impeding the ability of farmers to irrigate their crops.
What Other Benefits Can Direct Seeding Provide?
Equipment costs are a huge part of any crop farmer’s operating budget, especially maintenance and fuel costs. Direct seeding allows these farmers to drastically reduce the number of hours these machines are used by cutting down the number of passes made through each field. This extends the life of the machinery, while significantly reducing the cost of fuel, maintenance, labor and downtime that can severely impact the profit margin.
Is Direct Seeding Better For The Soil?
Direct seeding provides equally important benefits to the health and vitality of the soil. When fewer passes are made through each field with heavy tractors and equipment, there is less compaction of the soil. This helps preserve the health of beneficial microbes in the soil, as well as the organic matter that provides nourishment to the crops that will grow there.
Can Direct Seeding Help With Erosion?
Soil that has been plowed and tilled into powdery consistency cannot defend itself against the winds and torrential rains that seek to blow or wash it away. Direct seeding allows the natural organic material of the soil to be maintained, keeping the soil surface stable and unharmed by wind and heavy rain. In addition, this organic material helps hold moisture during periods of reduced rainfall and helps it better absorb the rains, when they do come.
With benefits such as these, it is no wonder that direct seeding technology is emerging as one of shining stars wherever high volume crop production is desired, in an affordable and earth friendly manner.