Precision seeders are a major investment for a farm, but for larger, mechanized farms, they can decrease seed costs, thinning time, and they can enable very easy no-till seeding into low-residue cover crops. We have had the opportunity to work with Monosem and MaterMacc seeders at our research farms and with collaborating farmers. Here’s a video featuring the MaterMacc:
And a short video showing the Monosem (similar functionality).
The weight of the machine and the double disk opener (also the coulter in the case of the Monosem) make slicing through the radish residue and making a furrow incredibly easy. The biggest problem encountered is furrow closure. Under moist conditions in heavier soils, very high tension on the press wheels is required for furrow closure. In sandy soils, closing the furrow is not a problem.
If a precision seeder is not in the budget, no-till seeding is possible with push seeders, but may not be as reliable. Results coming soon from our push seeder trials!
It may be possible to no-till seed vegetables using a grain drill, also. This is what they tried at UMass: