Tillage farmers are out in force across the country. The past few days have provided great opportunities for all jobs to be carried out in many regions, while some ground will take longer to dry out.

One job that is essential at this time of the year is calibrating the seed drill. The seed drill should be calibrated between different crops, varieties, seed batches and seed dressings.

In this short video, AgriLand talks through the process step-by-step with Derek Delahunty from Lemken.


The first step is calculating the seed rate. This is calculated by multiplying the thousand grain weight (TGW) by the target plant population and dividing by the establishment percentage.

For example, in the video the TGW was 50, the target plant population was 300 and the establishment percentage was 85%. This brought the seed rate to 176.5kg/ha.

The next step was to prepare the drill. The drill is set to sow cereal grains and the seed was run through the machine for a short time to have it flowing as it would in the field.

The tray is then emptied and the output from the machine is measured. In this example, Derek runs the drill for 45 seconds. The tray and the seed are weighed. The weight of the empty tray is taken away and the weight of the seed is then inputted into the control unit in the cab.

Thanks to M&J Contracting in Cloyne, Co. Cork, for the use of their new drill. We wish them the best of luck with their new purchase.