[MUSIC] [MUSIC] When planting food plots or native
warm season grass in forest stands for wildlife, it can be very beneficial
using the no-till drill. This insures you’ll have good seed soil
contact, uniform planting depth, and conservation of soil moisture and
organic matter. This will lead to good planting success
and can reduce risk of failure. When using a no-till drill,
or any planting method, it’s very important to calibrate
your seeding equipment. Oftentimes, due to varying seed size and
amounts of chaff and pure live seed in a seed blend. The actual seeding rate can vary from the
recommended setting on your no-till drill. Through calibration, we can adjust the exact amount of pure
live seed being planted per acre. This ensures that we plant at
the recommended rate per acre. And will not run out of seed,
seed too lightly, or waste money seeding too heavily. First, let’s look over the Truax No-Till
Drill that we will be calibrating. It has three seed boxes for
different size seeds, and each seed box has its own seed rate
adjustment to adjust the seed output. The front box is for clovers, brassicas,
switchgrass, and many native forest. Its seed rate can be adjusted with
the small lever on the front of the box. The center box is a native grass or
fluffy seed box, and it’s made to handle fluffy seed. Or seed with lots of chaff, like big and
little blue stem, as well as Indian grass. The fluffy seed box has augers and picker wheels to help the seed
flow through the drill. The seed rate for
this box can be adjusted by the chain and gear system below the safety
shield on the front of the drill. The rear box is the grain boxes made for
large seeds, like soy beans, oats, wheat, and other grains. Its seed rate can be adjusted by
the large lever on the back of the drill. Feeder tubes funnel seed down from
the seed boxes to the disc openers, where it is planted. The drive wheel is on the right
side of the drill and runs all the mechanisms of the drill
when it is engaged and turning. The pin on the inside of the drive
wheel can be used to engage and disengage the drill mechanisms for
planting or transportation. We will be covering the fluffy seed
box for our forb and grass mix. If the seed has been cleaned and
most of the chaff removed. You can actually mix the forb and
grass seed together and place in the fluffy seed box. Or you can mix it with a carrier,
like cracked corn, and place it in the grain box. If the seed is not dechaffed, you should
place the forb seed in the small seed box. And the native grass seed in the fluffy
seed box and calibrate separately. Usually, the seed company
will pre-mix the forb and grass seed together if
it has been dechaffed. Dechaffing is a common practice, but it’s
worth asking your seed company prior to purchasing whether they
dechaff their seed. To begin calibrating, locate the label on the inside of one
of the large seed boxes on your drill. The label says to place seed
in three of the seed cups. Turn the drive wheel with the pin
engaged for 13 and a quarter turns, then weigh the output of all three
seed cups combined in grams. Divide this number by 2 to yield the
pounds per acre planted of this seed box. As a note of caution, remember that this
represents your bulk seeding rate and not your pure live seed or
PLS per an acre. You can learn more about
calculating your pure live seed and bulk seed rate by going to
the link in the video description. First, adjust the gear up for the fluffy
seed box to the recommended setting. You can increase the seed rate
by moving the chain to the left to a smaller sprocket. Or decrease by moving to
the right to a larger sprocket. If there is not a chart that corresponds
with the seed you are planting, start the calibration process
on the middle setting. If your drill’s a rental, you do not know what the landowner
before you was planting. To guarantee that you’re planting
your seed, and only your seed, you should vacuum out the seed boxes
prior to calibration and planting. Next, pour seed into three
of the seed cups and remove the tubes from
the bottom of the seed box. To measure the seed of output, we will need to weigh the seed
dropping out of these cups. This can be easily done
with the help of one or two extra people holding
cups under the seed cups. However, when calibrating a drill alone,
it is often helpful to secure bags to the bottom of the seed cups
with rubber bands or zip ties. Just remember not to
secure them too tightly or you won’t be able to remove
them when you’re done. Now turn the drive wheel with a pin and
gauge for 13 and a quarter turns. You can use the drive pin or tire
valve stem as a reference as you turn. Make sure that the pin is is engaged and
the drive wheel is off the ground. On many drills, this will require that you use a jack
to lift the drive wheel off the ground. If a jack is not available,
you can drive the drill 100 feet, which is equivalent to 13 and
a quarter turns. Tear you scale, then remove the bags or
cups from under each seat cover, combine them together and
weigh the contents in grams. Take this weight and divide it by 2,
as indicated on the box label. In this example, our measured weight
is 24 grams divided by 2 equals 12, this is our bulk pounds per acre weight. To ensure that your
measurements are accurate, calibrate three times then take
the average of these three readings. For our example, we got 12,
11 and 13 pounds seed rates. This averages together to give you
12 pounds of bulk seed per an acre. However, our desired seed rate is
six pounds bulk seed per acre, which equals four pounds pure
live seed for our seed mixture. So we will need to move the chain
to the right, to a larger sprocket, to decrease our seed rate. Now that we have adjusted our seed rate,
we will recalibrate and make adjustments until we’ve
reached our desired bulk seed rate. When calibrating the small seed box or
the grain box, all steps remain the same. Except that you will
measure the seed output and make adjustments on the seed
boxes independently. Either one can be increased by moving the
lever to the right to increase seed rate, or moving to the left
to decrease seed rate. Remember when you’re done
to lock the lever down so that your seed rate doesn’t
change while you’re planting. Due to lower seeding rates for
wildlife and more efficient seed cleaning. It may be difficult to achieve a low
enough bulk seed rate on your drill. If so, you could add a filler to increase
the bulk seed weight of your seed mixture. Vermiculite is a great choice when
planting native warm season grasses with a fluffy seed box. Cracked corn, or clay absorbent,
like you’d use on your driveway, are better choices when planting
native grasses using your grain box. Cat litter is a great filler to use
when planting using your small seed box, remember, adding fillers will
change your seeding rate. To learn more about adjusting
your seeding rate using fillers, go to the link in the video description. Another way to calibrate any no-till
drill is by using the 1/100 Acre Method. You can do this by catching
the seed output of the drill, while planting 1/100 of an acre, and
then multiplying this number by 100. This yields your pounds per an acre rate. First, we’ll need to measure the width
of our drill, in this case, 8 feet. Next, count the number of rows
in our drill, in this case, 12. Then we’ll need to measure
the 1/100 of an acre plot. To measure out our 1/100 of an acre plot, we will need to take the width of
our drill and multiply it by 100. Then divide 43,560 by this number. This will yield the number of feet you
need to drive your drill to achieve your 1/100 of an acre plot size. For our drill, the math indicates that
we will need to drive 54.45 feet. We will measure the distance
off with a tape, flag it. Then drive the drill
the distance while catching the seed from three of the seed cups. We will then take the average
of the three seed cups to get our individual seed cup rate. Now that you have
the average seed cup output, multiply times the number of rows
in the drill, in our case 12. This will yield your pounds
per 100th of an acre planted. Multiply this by 100 to yield
your pounds per acre planted. It may be difficult to calibrate your
drill to the exact seed rate desired. If so,
air on the side of seeding too lightly, you can always make an extra pass. And this guarantees that if you
do overlap your passes slightly, you won’t run out of seed too soon. When complete,
reattach the tubes to the seed boxes, fill the entire seed box up with seed,
and you’re ready to plant. [SOUND] [MUSIC]