28 May 2015 | Online since 2003

Agri-seeders sold into Ireland for grassland rejuvenation

Louth based grass seeding contractor Fergie O’ Neill has purchased a Vredo Agri Seeder which is specifically designed for stitching grass into existing leys or burnt off ground.

The Vredo is a 3m machine with 38 rows of double discs 7.5cm apart cut a slot in the ground approximately 1-2cm deep, seed is deposited from the seed box and is placed in the slot. A packer roller closes the slot and rolls in the grass seed.

This gives a complete one pass operation and takes the hassle out of sowing grass seed. Stone picking is eliminated. Clover and rape can also be stitched into existing fields along with high sugar grasses to raise the sward quality.

This method of grass seeding is becoming very popular among farmers as benefits include not losing grazing ground out of rotation while reseeding is being done. It also works well with seed treatments as both seed and treatments make excellent soil contact.

When asked why he purchased the Vredo, Fergie was enthusiastic in his reply. ’My interest is not just in over-seeding, but in rejuvenating grasslands. I wanted to prove that with the right machine it is easily possible to overseed with grass but also to introduce other crops, such as clover, chicory, samphire or rape which in turn will produce, flavoursome, quality feed for all livestock. At the same time I have spent a lot of time looking into the methods of improving the structure of the soil by introducing biologicals and wanted to find a way of combining them with seed for easy and accurate placement.’

It is becoming more widely recognised that present day agricultural practices can have an adverse effect on the natural balance of the biology in many soils. Recent trials where root samples were taken from cereal crops to check biological association, the results on average soils used for commercial farming showed little or no sign of biological activity. In comparison where seeds were sown using biological additives, initial root colonisation was rapid and vigorous.

Fergie also recognised that the Vredo offered an agricultural over-seeding machine which provided an economical option to ploughing, tilling and sowing. ’I first saw the Vredo on ’You Tube’ ’he said ’and requested a demonstration from the supplier; JC Machinery.’ Brian O’Shaughnessy Project Manager for JC Machinery in Ireland supplied the Vredo. ’I am delighted that we have been able to show that the Vredo Agri-Seeder is the perfect tool for this work. Vredo has established an excellent global reputation in the agricultural sector with a series of purpose built Agri Overseeders. They are heavy duty but precisely constructed machines and designed specifically to tackle the important area of grassland rejuvenation.’

The Vredo Agri-seeder is designed specifically for grassland over seeding and it is the patented disc system that enables accurate placement of the seed directly into the soil. The double disc system on the Vredo has been proven to achieve some of the highest germination rates in agriculture. The Agri series has a standard inter-row distance of 7.5 cm and the hard wearing large discs have a diameter of 406 mm. Each pair of discs has independent suspension which ensures the Vredo follows the contours of the terrain perfectly. If the discs encounter hard objects, such as stones, they spring upward. Thanks to this construction every seed is always deposited in the ground at the right depth.

Research at the Agricultural University of Triesdorf in Germany confirmed that the Vredo system generates a consistent germination rate of 96% in comparison with systems which spread seed on the surface; rake system with a seed dispenser for example. In addition, compared with conventional renovation ’ the ploughing, power harrowing, stone burying, seeding and rolling is all achieved in one pass. This reduces investment in machinery to a very attractive level for the majority of landowners and/or contractors.

’I have found the Vredo to be compact, simple to use and extremely efficient in the way it operates.’ said Fergie. ’Whether it’s full reseed or just rejuvenation the Vredo drill can do an accurate job, getting your field back into production. I can now confidently offer farmers an economic way of really improving the quality of their grasslands.’



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