Planter/seed drill help with equipment puchase

All, in my third year mantaing 6 acres of food plots. Have been experimenting with winnefred barrasicas, rape, radishes, turnips, wintrer rye, oats, clover. Have been usng the throw and cultipacker method. Germination has been hit and miss. Rain has not been the problem. We have killed the plots, fertilized, lightly tilled, spread seeds, and culipacked. We have a tractor and an 80 horse skidster for equipment. The lime has been amended in year 1 with the help of the soil test. Money not a mojor concern. Should I get a planter or drill of some type? I am not even sure how they work. Can they be used with the very different seed sizes like rye vs turnip? If new equipment would help, what kind? For the tractor or skidster? I find attachment changes much easier for the skidster. Any advice would be welcomed.
Welcome to the forum. Based on what you want to plant, you would be better suited getting a drill with both large and small seed boxes. This will let you plant everything you mentioned in one pass.

If money is truly not an issue, a no till drill will allow you to plant without having to prepare a seed bed first. This is great for the soil, preserves soil moisture, and can save you a lot of time.

If you would prefer to stick with conventional tillage, a regular old drill will be fine. You can get old used ones for much cheaper than a no till drill will cost.

Planters are used for corn, sunflowers, beans (though a drill can plant beans fine), among other things, and you didn't mention those so stick with a drill.
I bought a used Kasco versa drill from Kasco as they take tradeins and that save alot of that.It's not the best but alot cheaper than great plains.It does work good if soil isn't too damp.It would be considered a min till drill.You have the choice of something like the plotmaster that disc then has broadcaster,kasco that is min till,great plains no till or one of these brands.There are other brands such as Woods and several others then you have the regular ag farm equipment.
Thanks for the input but still not sure what to do. We have a tiller for the tractor and a new cutipacker. After killing everything and tilling we broadcast our seeds. We fertilize based on the soil test but our germination is very poor. Has anyone bought or used a field tuff 3 point seeder? They cost about 1800 bucks but reviews are impossible to find. I have the equipment to till and cutipack but was thinking that some kind of seeder or planter might help my germination problem. If it's not obvious I am a real novice here. Any advice is appreciated.
I have great luck with a rototiller, cultipacker and broadcast spreader. From my understanding a 'seeder' simply drops seed on top of the ground. I accomplish the same thing by broadcasting seed, then going over it with a cultipacker. So far the results have been great.

A grain 'drill' on the other hand is a different machine. A drill cuts a small trench in the soil, deposits a seed in the trench, and then fills the trench in, thus covering the seed. It seems as if seeds planted using a drill will have a much higher germination rate. The seeds are also planted in rows , which makes for more efficient mechanical harvest.

So far I haven't seen the need for a drill in the planting I'm doing. Brassicas, winter rye, clover, buckwheat, sunflowers , and corn have all done well for me with a rototiller, cultipacker, and broadcast spreader. ( lime and fertilizer help too). I guess that if I do have an issue with germination, it's because I broadcast too many seeds, and get a plot that's too thick. The corn I broadcast seeded last year grew great, but had no ears because it was planted to thick.

If you haven't looked at Paul Knox's info on Outreach, I highly recommend it. That site had just about all the information on growing food for deer that anyone could ever use.

Good luck.


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We have been at it now for about 4 years. Put in about 3-4 acres of food plots. Started out with a tractor and disc. Minimal success. Then bought a cultipacker. Much better germination. We discovered that after discing we needed to cultipack before broadcasting seed then cultipacking again after broadcasting seed. Seems if we broadcasted seed without cultipacking first they would be too deep. We have since went in partners on an old John Deere drill. Still have to disc to prepare a seed bed but it does give nice pretty rows. Not sure a drill is necessary or gives better germination for what we do. Good soil to seed contact is critical and clovers and brassicas are easy to get too deep which reduces germination. Try cultipacking after discing and before broadcasting then again after broadcasting.
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