Disc drill or hoe drill? Does it have to be an ‘or’ question?
Since 2008, Pillar Lasers Inc., based at Warman, Saskatchewan, has been making hybrid disc/hoe openers that are designed to give the grower the best of both worlds.
As Pillar’s Mike Friesen explains in this video filmed at Canada’s Farm Progress Show in Regina last month, their drill places seed and fertilizer with a single opener in one pass. The disc cuts a furrow for the fertilizer, while the seed boot beside the disc leaves a seed ledge, placing seed 1.5″ above and up to 1.25″ beside the fertilizer band.
While disc openers tend to have better seed placement and can operate at higher speeds, hair-pinning of straw is one of the main reasons many growers still use hoe openers in Western Canada.
“We say we eliminate hair-pinning in the seedbed. A disc will always have some issues with pushing straw down if you get wet heavy straw, but the way the disc works in relation to the seed boot, the disc is clearing the way, and the seed boot comes in afterward. The straw can’t make that corner to get where the seedbed is,” explains Friesen.
Available in widths from 30′ to 60′ on 10″ and 12″ spacing, the openers on the Pillar drill are mounted on sub-frames. The main toolbar does not move when making depth adjustments.