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Direct Seeding in Northeast Oregon
Berkley Davis, Adams, OR

Background Info About My Farming Operation

We farm in Adams, OR in Umatilla County and till about 8000 acres. The annual rainfall is 17- 23 inches. We have been direct seeding 4 years on about 1/3 of the farm and this year we will be 100% direct seed, except in areas where we have problem with weeds.

Crops Raised under Annual Cropping System with Each Crop Direct Seeded

Winter Wheat, Spring Wheat
Green and Dry Peas, both Irrigated and Non-irrigated
Garbonzo Beans
Grass Seed, both Tall Fescue and Blue Grass Turf Seed

Equipment Use Conventional Seeded Equipment Used in Our Direct Seeding
   
5 Plows 1 Concord Air Drill w/ Anderson Openers
2 Sets of Double Disk Drills 1 Great Plains Coulter Double Disk, Rented
1 Set of Deep Furrow Hoe Drills 4 Wheels Tractors

7 Wheels Tractors:

2 300-Hp Plus

5 300-Hp Plus

2 100- to 150-Hp

2 100- to 150-Hp

1 Phoenix Rotary Harrow
5 Cultivators 1 Heavy Morris Harrow
2 Rod Weeders 2 Stubble Busters
2 Cultivators Set to Apply Fertilizer 1 Pea Packer
1 Harrow For Peas 1 Pea Harrow
1 Packer For Peas Most Important:
2 Deep Chisel Plows

90' Self Propelled 1200-Gal Sprayer

2 Heavy Duty Disks  
2 Stubble Busters  
   
Labor Required for Conventional Till Labor Required for Direct Seeding
   
6 Farm labors 4 Farm labors
1 Farm Foreman 1 Farm Foreman

Key Factors I Considered When Moving to a Direct Seeding System

Personal Success Stories

Direct seeding winter wheat into peas residue, we have been very successful with this both using the hoe drill and the double disk drill. I recommend using coulters.

Direct seeding green peas, dry peas, garbs and spring Canola in stubble that has been clipped, or stubble that has been baled off.

We have been very successful with this, but stubble management is very important, along with good weed control.

Direct seeded green irrigated peas and irrigated wheat into grass sod that was sprayed out with Roundup.

We had excellent results with dollars /acre equaling and even exceeding conventional seed green irrigated peas. Weed control was acceptable and the pea hay that was baled after harvest was as clean as alfalfa hay.

Direct seeded irrigated grass seed after green peas in August was very successful. We conserved water because we didn't till the ground at a time of year when it was very hot, which let us seed our grass seed two weeks earlier.

Benefits We Are Seeing in the Fields

Improved Water Penetration
Improved Soil Health
Less Soil Erosion
Less Crusting and Soil Compaction Which Enhances Seedling Establishment
Better Fertilizer Placement with No till Drills

Future Benefits for B.L. Davis Ranch Going to Direct Seeding

Increase Productivity
Decrease Soil Erosion
Less Fuel Usage
Less Hired Labor
Less Parts and Repairs, Because Less Equipment Use in Direct Seeding
More Time Available to Enjoy Your Family.