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Tar River SAYA-507 Not Till Drill

Wildthing

5 year old buck +
Not trying to hijack your thread at all and it looks like you have had very good success with your new drill. Just thought I would add a couple of links to threads I have posted on the Michigan Sportsman forum on the success I have had with my Land Pride (same as Great Plains) 606NT drill.

I haven't taken the time to read the entire thread yet as I am on my way out the door at the moment, but I was a little surprised when I read you are mixing the small seeds with rye or pell lime to act as a filler. Maybe there is only one box on your drill? My drill has a large box and a small box, however, I did not go with the NWSG box as I do not anticipate ever needing it. I have successfully planted switchgrass in the small box with no issues at all - and no fillers. I have also planted corn, beans, sugar beets, clovers and brassicas, radish, alfalfa, cereal grains and probably something else I can't remember at the moment. I purchased my drill in the spring of 2016 (after my wife and I attended Grant Woods' "Field Days" event at his Missouri Proving Grounds) so this will be my 6th year planting with it and I could not be happier. My property is located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

There are quite a few photos in this thread from when I planted my brassicas last year:

Brassicas are in...

I actually started this thread in 2019 but the last page or so also shows my cover crop (Buffalo Blend) which I planted last year. I planted a 12-variety seed blend all with one pass and no fillers.

Buffalo Blend at 2 Weeks:

Looking forward to coming back and reviewing the entire thread. Like you, I will never go back to turning dirt again and my soil is all the happier for it.
 

DPx2

Yearling... With promise
After calling around quite a few places, I located a saya507, brand new. I'm still on the fence about needing one though, vs just wanting one. I only plant about 3a a year, although I could plant as much as 20a. The other 17a I don't plant annually are already in clover, so there's no need to replant every year. I do pretty well with a broadcast seeder and lightly disk in, or drag for the 3a that I replant every year.

So, my question is, how many acres are you guys planting that justifies an $18000 implement? For what I'm doing, I can't justify it at this time personally, just trying to understand perspectives that may change my own at some point.

Thanks
 

breddick

5 year old buck +
After calling around quite a few places, I located a saya507, brand new. I'm still on the fence about needing one though, vs just wanting one. I only plant about 3a a year, although I could plant as much as 20a. The other 17a I don't plant annually are already in clover, so there's no need to replant every year. I do pretty well with a broadcast seeder and lightly disk in, or drag for the 3a that I replant every year.

So, my question is, how many acres are you guys planting that justifies an $18000 implement? For what I'm doing, I can't justify it at this time personally, just trying to understand perspectives that may change my own at some point.

Thanks
The SAYA507 is ~ $6000 so it’s really not a fair comparison to those drills that cost 2-3x more.
I feel like my “before” situation was very similar to yours 3 / 17 acres. Without the drill I was limited on what I could do. Not enough man hours to handle more than 3-5 acres without the drill.
With it I’ve been able to expand that tremendously. Still being in year one of the NT practice I’m still having to use a lot of glyphosate but I’m hoping that will really diminish this year. I’m trying to hit everything early this spring before seeding.

My food plots and subsequently my wildlife have made exponential improvements since acquiring the drill.

To be honest I had a little buyers remorse when I got mine, thinking similar to you. A need vs a want. After this deer season no more buyers remorse. Planting the acres I have in an efficient manner has transformed my property.
 

Wildthing

5 year old buck +
After calling around quite a few places, I located a saya507, brand new. I'm still on the fence about needing one though, vs just wanting one. I only plant about 3a a year, although I could plant as much as 20a. The other 17a I don't plant annually are already in clover, so there's no need to replant every year. I do pretty well with a broadcast seeder and lightly disk in, or drag for the 3a that I replant every year.

So, my question is, how many acres are you guys planting that justifies an $18000 implement? For what I'm doing, I can't justify it at this time personally, just trying to understand perspectives that may change my own at some point.

Thanks

That is a good question DPx2...

17 Acres of Clover? Wow! If I were baling and selling it I might consider planting that much but for feeding deer all I plant is a narrow strip around the outside edge of my food plots and maybe some of the 2 track travel corridors throughout the property. That gives the deer all the clover they could ever possibly consume and then some. Get yourself the no-till drill and start planting more annuals in that 17 acres of clover.

Planting the perimeter strips was suggested to me by Steve Bartylla and it makes perfect sense. A little bit of clover goes a long way and the outside edge of food plots can often be shaded and, especially with a lot of trees drawing soil moisture, many annual crops don't grow very well on the outside edge anyway. Clover does just fine though as it can grow great being somewhat shaded and it doesn't need as much water as many other plants.

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My drill comes in real handy for drilling some cereal grains into those clover edges when I'm planting my fall cereal grains. A pass or two around the plots and the clover has an added dimension.

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The rye in this clover strip fed my deer last fall and early spring and when it gets a little too tall, I just terminate it with some Clethodim which nukes any other warm season grasses in the clover at the same time. In August, I will drill some new rye, wheat or oats into it....rinse and repeat. You can do a lot with a no-till drill that you can't do well by broadcasting, although I do sometimes broadcast cereal grains into small wooded plots where a drill wouldn't fit well.

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It would be hard to justify the expense of a good drill to plant only 3 acres - I have to agree. Actually, it may be hard to justify for planting only 16 acres which I was planting when I purchased my drill. However, some of those acres are double cropped so I am actually usually planting more than that amount some years. I also find that the older I get, I like planting behind my farm tractor much more than I like broadcasting seed while walking around with a hand crank seeder. 16 acres of that? No thanks.

The expense in my case was somewhat offset when I sold my conventional grain drill...

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and my 4-row planter...

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and since I haven't turned any dirt in over 5 years, I have decided to sell my 12 foot cultivator this year as well.

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I look at my farm equipment as more of an investment than an expense. Everything I have sold so far has sold for more than I paid for it after many years of use, including my previous John Deere farm tractor. I purchased my current farm tractor (JD-5400) with 2,000 hours on it 13 years ago. I have 4,200 hours on it now and I believe I could sell it for just about what I paid for it then. I am certainly in no hurry to sell my drill but I am guessing it is worth nearly what I paid for it 5 years ago as well. Of course, it has always been washed and parked back inside the barn after every use so I do take good care of it and it still looks like new. The other side of the coin is that all of my farm implements have been purchased with timber sale proceeds so I never had to break into the kids' college fund to purchase it.

There are many more advantages to planting with a no-till drill - almost too numerous to mention, but here are just a few...

Seat time in the tractor has gone from over 200 plus hours/year when turning dirt, to 100 hours or less per year with the No-Till drill - only 71 hours last year (and that includes winter snow removal).

When I don't turn dirt...I don't have to pick rocks. Our soil is very good once we get the rocks out...but I swear we grow new ones every year. I blew out my back and both knees picking rocks. Now - my drill rides right over the top of them and you can't even tell they are there.

If you like the exercise disregard this...but I can remember seeding plots with my hand-crank spreader by walking over the plot once while seeding large cereal grains, another pass seeding my radish seed and a third time (after cultipacking) spreading my small clover seeds. Now I can plant a 12-variety seed blend with one pass with my no-till drill.

No doubt, one of the best things about not turning dirt is that my soil is responding very nicely. Cover crops keep mining up nutrients to feed future crops, I don't need to worry about erosion on my hilly slopes, they keep weeds at bay, soil moisture is retained, Organic Matter and CEC are continuing to increase, and I am now in the process of weaning my soil from synthetic fertilizer (often the most expensive part of planting) and certainly not good for your soils or the environment.

I may increase my food plot acreage in the future but even if I don't, I don't need any further justification for buying my no-till drill. After using the drill for 5 years, I have zero regrets about purchasing it and I can guarantee you that I will never turn dirt again. Could not be happier.
 
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DPx2

Yearling... With promise
Wildthing - that's a great write-up and the perspective I was looking for. It certainly gives me food for thought, which was the intent of my post.

The pictures help me visualize what you're describing, and give color to the context. I very much appreciate your taking the time to explain and provide the information you did.

Part of it is that I'm just ..... um... frugal (cheap). Seed doesn't cost me a lot, most I get free (so the seeding rates of broadcast vs drill isn't a significant expense to me) , I'm in an ag area, so there's plenty of food around, the 13a I could plant is 50 miles away, so I don't go over there but every 3 or 4 years, and so on. I'm not turning over a lot of ground every year, maybe 2 acres, and while I wouldn't get into the kids college fund to buy one, I don't like to have equipment sitting around unused.

I guess I'm not near serious enough, yet, about food plotting to spend the money. I want to have nice plots, but ..... I will consider what you said, interesting perspective - Thanks

Here's my bean plot via broadcasting. I did have an efence up...
 

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Wildthing

5 year old buck +
Thanks DPx2. As you say - different strokes for different folks... or maybe more appropriately...for different situations. No-till isn't for everyone but it fits my situation just fine.

Awesome plot of beans... Our deer density here wouldn't allow for that without a fence either so I do have a few fence chargers. :emoji_laughing:

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DPx2

Yearling... With promise
efences are great, here's a smaller micro plot of beans, not fenced, same year, 150 yards from the first plot......I did have an exclusion cage up to show the damage

Maybe I just need more efences! lol

Thanks Again for your write up, I'll be chewing on it for sure.
 

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Bassattackr

5 year old buck +
Wildthing - Did you use a disc or harrow also? Curious how you prepped after chisel plowing for using that drill or planter.
 

Wildthing

5 year old buck +
Wildthing - Did you use a disc or harrow also? Curious how you prepped after chisel plowing for using that drill or planter.
Yes - I still have my disc and another small cultivator. I haven't used either in food plots since I went no-till but I used the disc for woods roads after a timber harvest to prep and plant those trails. I plan to keep those in the event I open up another food plot or two in the future. In that case I would need to work up the soil enough to pick the rocks out of it and get it leveled enough to use my no-till drill and then they will sit again. I also plan to have future timber harvests and will likely open up another trail or two from new skidder trails created during the logging.

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The cultivators work much better than the disc for popping up rocks. Here are just some of the rocks I picked out of one of my new plots several years ago...

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Here is a link to a thread on how that food plot was created from scratch...which is why I am not in a real big hurry to start on another one just yet :emoji_laughing:

Another "Creating a Food Plot" thread:
 

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Bassattackr

5 year old buck +
Awesome! Wish I had a chisel for initial break up. Poor mans chisel plow below.. Take the weight off and it becomes a "standard disc".. :emoji_grin:

No till drill sometime in the future. This plus cultipacker (if I can ever find one) will make do for now..

T.jpg
 

Nparks

Buck Fawn
The SAYA507 is ~ $6000 so it’s really not a fair comparison to those drills that cost 2-3x more.
I feel like my “before” situation was very similar to yours 3 / 17 acres. Without the drill I was limited on what I could do. Not enough man hours to handle more than 3-5 acres without the drill.
With it I’ve been able to expand that tremendously. Still being in year one of the NT practice I’m still having to use a lot of glyphosate but I’m hoping that will really diminish this year. I’m trying to hit everything early this spring before seeding.

My food plots and subsequently my wildlife have made exponential improvements since acquiring the drill.

To be honest I had a little buyers remorse when I got mine, thinking similar to you. A need vs a want. After this deer season no more buyers remorse. Planting the acres I have in an efficient manner has transformed my property.
I used mine for the first time yesterday. A free a couple of tweaks I was very happy with the results. Planted three acres of soybeans in to roundup killed knee high wheat.
 

Nparks

Buck Fawn
I used my Saya 507 for the first time yesterday to plant three acres of forage soybeans. Planted into standing wheat and oats that had been hit with glysophate two weeks ago. Soil was a somewhat sandy and contained some moisture. I was very happy with the results. No problems at all with vegetation and calibration of 50 pounds per acre was almost perfect. I did make one modification. The cotter pins that held the seed tubes in place above the cutters were crimping the rubber seed tubes and clogging up. I removed the pins and solved the problem. It appears to me that the holes for the pins should be moved left or right of center
 

Nparks

Buck Fawn
Incidentally, my drill is called the LMC saya 507. It is exactly the same drill with the same parts as the Tar River. Only difference is the color. The regional rep put me on it when I could not locate one from Tar River
 

Bassattackr

5 year old buck +
Incidentally, my drill is called the LMC saya 507. It is exactly the same drill with the same parts as the Tar River. Only difference is the color. The regional rep put me on it when I could not locate one from Tar River

Interesting.. Pic?
 

Nparks

Buck Fawn
That’s it. Apparently shipped from overseas and assembled in USA. I noticed that they mistakenly assemble the closers under the main frame instead of over it but an easy fix. Worth carefully checking everything though
 
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