Drill extension keeps seed high and dry

Hoe drill extensions place seed on top of furrows

WETASKIWIN, Alta. — Frustration over drowned crops prompted Clark Lysne to modify his drill so that it placed seed on top of the furrows rather than on the bottom.

“I have a lot of trouble with excessive water flooding my crop,” he said.

He made the modification three years ago, and after being pleased with the results, adapted his John Deere hoe drill this year with a few extra modifications.

“I’m well satisfied.”

Two extensions are welded to the hoe to force it to go straight back rather than dig into the ground.

The hoe scuffs the surface and drops the seed in the ground. The other hoes create ridges on top of the seed.

He said the modified equipment saves 90 percent of the crop from drowning in most years.

Lysne made his first modifications after heavy rain drowned his peas.

“A huge number of acres got flooded. It was just a matter of building up enough confidence and step out in a new direction.”

He said it’s not uncommon for farmers with irrigation to seed their crops and vegetables on top of the furrow and then flood the field.

“That’s how they deal with flooding, by planting up high.”

He said removing the packers helps the soil stay loose and hold more water.

Lysne, a former goat milk producer, said he is not one to follow in other farmers’ footsteps and is willing to try new methods.

“I have not walked in many paths.”

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