Agronomy Library > Soil Conservation

No-till Seeding into Heavy Clay
Author: Bruce Barker, Top Crop Manger
Date Created: February 15, 2005
Last Reviewed: February 15, 2005

Heavy clay soils present special challenges for direct seeders. Too wet, too dry, too many hassles, these environmental conditions wreak havoc on the best designed openers and seeding systems.

“The soil just doesn't flow around the opener very easily. The biggest suggestion I have is to avoid deep banding fertilizer with the opener. It really messes up the seedbed,” says Brett Adams, a farmer from Munson, near Drumheller in central Alberta.

Adams says that the deeper a side-banding opener runs when placing fertilizer, the more it ends up leaving trenches in the soil. Those trenches are formed because the soil does not fill in behind the opener, except on a few perfect days when soil conditions are ideal. If the soil is too wet, it just stays where the opener pushes it. Too dry and the soil fractures, bringing up lumps and drying out the soil.

click here to read the full article on the Top Crop Manager website