As a one time FFA enthusiast and sometime conservation biology student, I try to do things right here on the farm. Low chemical use, select cutting of trees (except gum trees. They get ALL the chemicals and ALL the cutting), etc.
So when it came time to overseed our pastures, our first year I did so by hand in the small area that we could spare to leave alone. Spoiler alert, I simply blew about $50 in seed and had a really fun afternoon casting it out.
This year, we needed to overseed 8-10 acres of pasture that has been woefully neglected. We have scrubbed little gum trees and kept the fields bushhogged all summer, but we knew that new grass was desperately needed.
This is how we cleared land before the tractor. And Mr. DR Power still comes in handy!
Since the reasons for not hand casting that much land should be fairly obvious, and since we have added a wonderful tractor to our family, we started searching for mechanical means of putting seed in the ground that was also economical (it’s a wonderful tractor, it wasn’t a cheap tractor!)
Unfortunately, those two words aren’t exactly compatible. Sod drills, no till trills, cultipackers, all cost a LOT of money and we needed one pronto. Thank God for friends with good ideas. In discussing the issue with a landscaping friend of his, a friend of my husband suggested the No Till Drill rental program.
Hopefully it’s true across the country, but at least here in the Carolinas, rumor has it that every county’s soil and water conservation district has one of these beauties for rent. Our local place has them available for $12-$14 per acre. How wonderful is it that the seed cost more than the equipment use!
This is one of our sacrifice pastures for the winter while the bigger pastures grow up (hopefully) with new rye, orchard, and clover.