Deep-Furrow Wheat Drill Design Meeting Set for November 17

RITZVILLE, Wash. – Wheat growers, equipment fabricators and scientists will meet here Nov. 17 to discuss design options for a new deep-furrow drill.

The meeting will be held from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Wheat Foundation Building in Ritzville. The meeting is free and open to the public.

According to Bill Schillinger, Washington State University professor and meeting organizer, deep-furrow drills currently used by wheat growers are nearly 50 years old, are almost worn out and have serious drawbacks. “The inability of these deep-furrow drills to pass through heavy residue without plugging limits conservation tillage in the wheat-fallow region,” he said. “Growers are reluctant to leave high quantities of residue on the soil surface when they know it will cause them problems at planting time.”

Two well-known regional farm implement fabricators, Dave Barnes and Lloyd Stoess, will provide their thoughts on deep-furrow drill design for conservation wheat-fallow farming. Open discussion will follow the presentations.

“The two givens are that the new drill must pass through and retain heavy surface residue and be as effective or better at seed placement as the existing John Deere HZ and International 150 models,” Schillinger said.

The Columbia Plateau PM10 Project has already pledged $20,000 as seed money for the fabrication of a new deep-furrow drill prototype.