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Natasha Post, Author
Air seeders are a versatile piece of equipment that can be used for a wide variety of crops. They’re a form of planter, but there are several differences between air seeders and traditional planters that can make them more reliable, efficient alternatives to have on your farm. Keep reading to find out more about air seeders and how to ship them.
Using an Air Seeder vs. Using a Planter
One of the advantages of using an air seeder over another type of planting equipment is that an air seeder volumetrically meters the product right below each tank. Traditional planters singulate seeds right above the row. Depending on your needs, using a conventional planter to complete work out in the field can take longer.
An air seeder uses fans to blow air through its primary tubes. While the air is blowing, the meter is turning, dropping seeds at regular intervals into the airflow, and taking it down to the tool. There are air seeders which carry both seeds and fertilizer, or seed-only air seeders.
Many typical air seeders deliver both seeds and fertilizer. In the case of combination models, primary hoses carry both seed and fertilizer to the tower. In the tower, the mix of fertilizer and seed is distributed into secondary hoses and passed down to the openers. The opener blade opens up the soil, using a gauge wheel to define the depth at which the seed should be placed. The dropped seed and fertilizer is placed at the bottom of the trench created by the blade, and a pressing wheel will usually push the seed into the soil to ensure full contact.
Air seeders work best with smaller seeds, typically seeds that are round and small such as maize. While they often combine the spread of fertilizer with seed distribution, they can be less versatile than traditional planters as there are restrictions based on seed type. Air seeders are also often larger than other planters, so storage and transport of equipment can be a little more tricky.
Advantages of Air Seeders
Despite being less versatile than other planters, air seeders still have a lot going for them. As they’re larger and have a higher seed capacity, you can cover a larger area before you need to fill with more seed. As previously mentioned, you can provide fertilizer simultaneously while seeding, which can help the seed’s initial growth. It also reduces the number of field operations required during planting season. As these seeders rely on air to move seeds through the machinery, air seeders have fewer moving parts than planters. Fewer moving parts means less maintenance.
Popular Air Seeders in the U.S.
There are various air seeder manufacturers in the U.S. that produce equipment in a range of sizes to suit all agricultural operations. Whether you’ve got a small farm or large plot, there’s likely been an air seeder built by a major manufacturer that suits your requirements. Popular air seeders in the United States include:
- Bourgault 8000 Series
- Bourgault 9000 Series
- John Deere N500C Series
- CASE IH Precision Air 5 Series
- New Holland P2000 Series
How to Ship an Air Seeder
An air seeder is often shipped using open-air road transport, which means an equipment trailer capable of handling the size and weight of your air seeding equipment. The most versatile and commonly used trailer is the standard flatbed trailer, which consists of an extremely stable, level bed supported by multiple axles. One of the reasons that flatbeds are so commonly used is because the carriers are available in a wide variety of sizes to suit the dimensions of a wide variety of seeding equipment. On flatbed trailers, the air seeder is secured to the outside edges of the trailer before transport.
Shipping an air seeder can also involve specialized trailers such as removable gooseneck (RGN) or drop-deck trailer transport. These rigs can provide extra ft. of clearance when shipping larger models. If you prefer to have more protection for your seeding equipment, you may also choose to send an air seeder to its next destination using container services to protect it from the elements. The method of shipping used for shipping often depends on your budget, time constraints, size, weight, and overall dimensions of the equipment.