We’re here in southeast Kansas on a mission to restore a pasture and bring it back to life. Drought-like conditions and livestock grazing have really taken their toll on this pasture. Now it’s mid-June, and the heat of summer has already arrived.
So, we’re helping this landowner experiment with a grass he’s never used before called Teff. It’s native to Ethiopia, very heat and drought tolerant, and we’re hoping it will thrive in this dry Kansas environment. If it can restore a pasture, this landowner may have found a long-term answer to his pasture problem.
The right tools for the job.
For this project, we’re using a Frontier GS1184 Ground Driven Overseeder (USCA). We’ve matched it with a John Deere 5125R Utility Tractor (USCA) that has 125 engine horsepower (93.2 kW), and a 16F/16R CommandQuadâ Manual transmission. We’ve also added a 540R Loader (USCA) and a 79” (200.7 cm) materials bucket.
With this machine, you can choose between a pair of angle-adjustable spiked front rollers or front disks to help prepare the soil for seeding. Since we’re working in a pasture, we’re using the notched front discs and we’ve set them at a 10-degree angle so they’ll disturb the soil a bit for seeding, allowing moisture, nutrients, and oxygen to penetrate.
This overseeder also has 3 seed boxes that can be set to operate individually, or all together.
Each seed box is designed to handle a different type of seed – one for large seeds, like soybeans; another for small seeds, like legumes; and one for long, fluffy seeds like native prairie grass. We’ll be using the legume seed box for this project.
Time to get started.
Because this seed is so small, we’re using a variety that is coated that makes it a little bigger, a little heavier, and helps retain moisture to improve germination.
The recommended seeding rate for coated Teff is 5-7 pounds (2.3-3.2 kg) per acre. There’s a calibration chart inside the seed box that shows Jermayne where to set the flow control lever based on that dispersal rate.
After he loads the Teff seed into the legume seed box, and has set the flow control, he’s off to the races.
As you can see, the notched disks cut the soil just a bit to help retain any moisture that might arrive.
Because this Teff seed is so small, it has to be sown very shallow – essentially just pressed into the surface. So the optional cultipacker on the back of this overseeder does a great job of pressing the seed into the seedbed and giving us good seed to soil contact.
Now it’s up to Mother Nature. Let’s hope her sense of humor isn’t too dry this summer. Because if we’re going to restore a pasture, we’re going to need some rain.
Frontier has nearly 600 implements that are available only from your John Deere dealer, the place to go for advice and equipment.
So remember, for implements that help turn your tractor into the workhorse it was built to be, think Frontier and your John Deere dealer.
And lastly, always read the Operator’s Manual before operating any piece of equipment and follow all operating and safety instructions.