Larry Scott's Direct Seeding Experience in the Black Soil Zone at Marsden

In 1995, Larry Scott of Marsden, SK, knew he had problems that needed to be addressed. There was the soil erosion problem, caused primarily by the wind, which seemed to get worse every year. And he was tired of watching his operation spend so much energy chasing equipment from field to field. The cost of fuel was soaring and there always seemed to be a shortage of help, especially during the crucial seasons of his operation.

Today Larry and his brother, Ken, have not only taken care of these problems, but also reaped many other benefits, all through the power of direct seeding.

"I'm conserving moisture, using less manpower, and lowering my fuel costs," says Larry. "And I have less machinery concentrated on my seeding operation."

Larry uses a Flexicoil 820 with stealth paired row openers, and Flexicoil poly-packers. The thin-black soils range from loam textured Cutknife and Mayfair soil associations, to loamy sand Edam and Meota soil associations. His rotation includes wheat, barley, canola, peas, oats, winter triticale, fall rye, and sometimes flax. He also grows some grains for silage. His is mostly a one pass operation with some anhydrous applied in the fall or liquid nitrogen dribbled in front of the seeding pass. He preharvests one in every three or four crop years.

"There just aren't any disadvantages," explains Larry. "I'm getting the same kind of yields I always got with no erosion. And I had excellent germination in 2001"

Even with all the advantages, Larry still feels there is room for improvement. He originally purchased his seeding equipment as a complete unit. But he finds it does not have enough packing pressure for the openers because they cause too much soil disturbance. In other words, he would like to find a seeding system that provides even less disturbance. Presently he is still considering his options in this area.

And what do the neighbours think?

"I'm custom seeding for some of them now," Larry states.

Enough said.