Seed Mortality due to Air Seeder Damage

Crop Soybean
Start Date2017
End Date2018
Principal InvestigatorSimundsson, Avery, PAMI
MPSG Financial Support$40,660
Total Project Funding$90,660
External Funding PartnersGrowing Forward 2
ReportPulse Beat Science Edition – Air Seeder Distribution and Seed Damage to Soybeans, Wheat and Canola | Final Extension Report

Research Objectives

  1. To understand how the higher air velocity required in larger air seeders affects germination and seed mortality through increased mechanical damage
  2. To understand how adjusting air velocity to reduce seed damage may affect the accuracy of seed distribution along the length of large air seeders
  3. To understand how seed moisture can play a part in reducing mechanical damage during seeding

Project Description

It is known that air seeders can cause damage to pulse seeds, leading to greater mortality rates and diminished germination rates. As the size of air seeders increase, the velocity of air required to carry the seeds down the length of the implement increases. There is a desire to know if the seed damage/mortality rate increases with larger seeders due to higher air velocity required for seed distribution. Also, there is a desire to understand if and how the accuracy of soybean seed distribution may change as the size of an air seeder increases, due to greater air velocity and possibly more uneven air distribution.
Knowing and understanding these factors will help producers to alter their seeding practices to minimize seed damage and maximize germination, as well as maximize crop potential through ensuring the desired seeding rate is achieved.