Discs or Tynes, the No-Till Seeder Options ?
Disc seeding makes so much sense in the typical Australian cropping program. No-till seeder systems are becoming increasingly popular and have some clear advantages for farmers.
1: Consider these advantages with the best No-Till seeder system
- Improved rainfall infiltration.
- Reduced soil erosion.
- Sowing in narrow row spacings increases the crop’s ability to fight off weeds, especially from annual ryegrass.
- Less susceptible to damage from slugs, slaters and millipedes.
2: And there is an easy-to-fit option
We understand why there is some hesitation among farmers in making a decision to switch from tynes to discs.
But the RYAN NT retrofit double disc system allows you to change tynes to discs quickly and efficiently – just swap the tyne shank for a disc!
Then, if required, it’s just as easy to switch back.
The rest of the article below explains some of the advantages of both systems.
RYAN NT Retrofit discs and tynes on a John Shearer
- One of the primary advantages of disc seeding systems is their ability to plant through stubble retained for many years. This results in improved rainfall infiltration, particularly during heavy summer storms, which reduces stored water loss during dry winters. Discs systems also minimise wind and water erosion, contributing to soil stability and retention of organic matter.
- Additionally, a disc seeding system could benefit your yields if you want to establish crops in regions with less rainfall. Discs allow for reliable planting and establishment even in traditionally false break conditions.
- Sowing with discs can leave more moisture in the soil if spring conditions are dry.
- Discs allow you to sow with narrow row spacings to increase crop competition with weeds.
- Sow faster, such as sowing up to 50% faster.
- Disc systems require reduced input costs such as fuel. Some growers have seen a reduction in 50% of fuel usage.
Farmers must be mindful of:
- Including double breaks and harvest, weed seed management is crucial for managing annual ryegrass in disc-sown systems. Heavy mulch layers facilitate annual ryegrass survival since retained residue protects their seeds.
- Disc systems cannot use trifluralin or other alternative pre-emergent herbicides that penetrate the stubble layer. You may see some crop damage if heavy rain falls after applying those herbicides before seedlings fully emerge.
- Farmers in certain areas looking to achieve more soil throw with their disc no-till seeder have found that certain double disc systems, rather than single disc systems, achieved enough soil throw for adequate incorporation with herbicides. RYAN NT's leading serrated disc of its double disc system can increase soil throw due to the notches in the disc, which allow for more aggression. Farmers can run with two plain discs to reduce the throw, meaning they don't have a leading disc with notches.
RYAN NT Retrofit discs plain and serrated disc plates
- Another challenge you may experience with disc no-till seeder systems is the susceptibility to certain insects, such as slater and Portuguese millipede. The heavy mulch layer in these systems provides a favourable environment for slaters and millipedes to build up and damage emerging crops.
- You can reduce insect numbers effectively by reducing the amount of trash and stubble over summer and early autumn, such as Speed tilling your paddock. RYAN NT offers a retrofit trash-cutting system that fits into your current tyne trip.
RYAN NT Retrofit trashcutter
- Diseases are manageable in disc farming systems, but because residues are retained, this creates a humid environment and a larger spore load. Growers must be careful with variety selection and set up and budget for an effective fungicide program.
- Tyne system users can use trifluralin and other pre-emergent herbicides (IBS) to combat annual ryegrass survival facilitated from heavy mulch layers, as ryegrass seeds are protected from herbicide in retained residue.
- Tynes may perform better than a disc no-till seeder if your conditions are very wet and sticky and have no stubble to get through or if you have soil like concrete, like red soils, packed down with stock. RYAN NT retrofit double disc system allows farmers the ability to switch between tynes and discs depending on what conditions they are facing.
Ryan Tyne's fitted to a Gason 1500 which can quickly switch to discs
- Tynes can leave a reduced mulch layer, which can see a reduction in pests, such as slater and Portuguese millipede damage. Heavy mulch layers in these systems can provide a favourable environment for slaters and millipedes to build up and damage emerging crops. Heavy mulch layer and spring moisture can result in slugs building up numbers and attacking subsequent crops, such as canola and pulse crops.
- Tyne systems can retain less residue than a disc no-till seeder, meaning the environment could be less humid and have reduced spore loads. Less residue, in turn, could mean less requirement for fungicides.
- Tynes may band fertiliser better than discs. Depending on the conditions and depth and what depth you are chasing, The RYAN NT retrofit disc system is known to band as well as tynes with its unique front boot systems. The front boots placement allows you to fire seed directly to the furrow's bottom.
RYAN NT Retrofit discs set up for banding fertiliser with it's front and back boot design
Farmers must be mindful of:
- Whilst tyne openers are easier to operate than discs and can band fertiliser more easily, they are poor managers of surface residues. Most farmers have their tynes arranged in wide rows; those looking for improved moisture reserves in untilled soils may prefer narrower rows, as seen with discs.
- Further tyne systems create more soil throw. For those aiming to be no-till, the goal is to reduce soil and residue throw, which can be challenging to achieve with tyne openers.
- Depending on the seeder bar set-up and spacing, you may have trouble getting through heavy stubble loads if you have narrow spacings. For instance, these issues could appear if you use 7-inch spacing for tynes.
RYAN NT has created a system that allows you to simply switch tynes to disc with their retrofit tyne and double disc system. This system allows operators to simply swap their tyne shank for a disc when required and then quickly switch back.
In conclusion, which system you use depends on factors such as weather conditions, soil types and your budget. You may see that tynes are a less risky no-tillage option than discs for your no-till seeder system. But as crop yields inevitably increase under no-tillage, discs become the only viable long-term option for soil conservation.
Adopting disc seeding systems has brought benefits and challenges to Australian farmers, but as we know, all farming systems have their own challenges. Consider the RYAN NT retrofit tyne and double disc system if you want the ability to switch back and forth easily.