Seeders are used to put the plant seed into the soil. Before seed drills were invented, farmers had to use a plow to create furrows (and would have to spread the seed across the furrows). This did not allow for seeds to be at the right depth in the soil or have the right amount of distance from other seeds. It also left some seeds exposed, where birds or natural elements could remove the spread seed.
This was one of the oldest styles of crop seeders.
Photo Credit: Western Development Museum
This farmer is riding on a steel seeder that is being pulled by horses.
Air seeders were a major invention that helped farmers be more sustainable. An air seeder eliminates the need to till the soil before seeding. An air seeder has fans that blow air into the main tubes. Seed and fertilizer are measured out and dropped into the airflow. The airflow brings the seeds to the opener blade that makes a trench in the soil so the seed and fertilizer can be placed in the soil. There is a gauge wheel that measures how deep the seed is being put into the soil. There is a pressing wheel that pushes the seeds into the soil to ensure they are packed enough to grow.
This tractor is seeding a field with an air seeder.
Take a look at how air seeders work!
Air seeding technology gradually started to develop in the late 1970s and early 1980s. A Saskatchewan farmer named Jerome Bechard is known as the father of air seeders. With some help from European designs, Jerome put his disker boxes on top of his cultivator. The goal was to help dry up the land and seed at the same time. Jerome tested his own designs for a few years before another Saskatchewan farmer, Frank Bourgault, began working with them.
Frank Bourgault was given the rights to manufacture Bourgault’s first air seeder. After two years of development and design work, Bourgault released 7 air seeders in 1980. The Model 138 was the first air seeder to be towed behind the cultivator. Through the years Bourgault has developed many other versions of air seeder, with their newest and largest, as of 2021, being Model 71300 (seven thirteen-hundred).
Bourgault’s newest and largest air seeder is Model 71300.
Take a look at the world’s first air seeder!
Bourgault is a company that was created and continues to run in a rural Saskatchewan community called St. Brieux. They are the world leader in air seeder technology. Other agriculture companies have produced their own air seeders as well.
Air seeders are the most efficient way of seeding crops for farmers around the world.