Since interest in winter wheat growing has revived in some sections of Iowa considerable merit has been claimed for the press drill over other grain drills and other methods of seeding. The Hoosier Press Drill Co., of Richmond, Ind., furnished the Iowa Experiment Station a drill free of charge, and we deemed it of interest to test its value for sowing winter wheat. Accordingly, on October 2, 1893, a small piece of ground, that had grown a crop of oats and vetches, was plowed to a depth of five inches and disced and harrowed thoroughly, and one-half of the piece sown with Turkish Red winter wheat with the Hoosier press drill, and the remainder with the same variety of wheat, at the same rate per acre, with a common grain drill. The principal point of difference in these machines is that the press drill has runners like a corn planter, that may be forced down to a depth of four or five inches,'and each runner is followed by a narrow wheel that firms the earth over the grain and leaves the soil between the rows standing up in ridges, by reason of which snow falling upon the field during winter lodges first in these tracks and protects the plants. The common drill also leaves the ground ridged, but does not press the soil over the seed, and the ridges are less marked. The soil of both plats was uniform, and all conditions were the same except the method of seeding. The depth of seeding was about four inches on each plat. The crop came on well, both plats coming up about the same time and going through the winter in similar condition. But little if any difference was noticed in the early stages of growth. Some difference was noticeable through May and June, but it was not until the wheat was in shock that any marked contrast was apparent. Then it was clear that the press drill plat had the heavier crop, though the stand was good on each. Both pieces ripened at the same time, and were harvested July 19th and handled alike. When threshed the press drill plat, containing 85 square rods, gave 25 bushels and 30 pounds of wheat that tested 61 1/2 pounds to the bushel; and the common drill plat of the same area gave 16 bushels that made the same test. The first was at the rate of 48 bushels per acre and the second 30 bushels, a difference of 18 bushels per acre in favor of the press drill. In hauling the grain a mile and a half to the threshing machine one load from the press drill plat fell off and in the extra handling some grain shattered out, but not enough to make any material difference, though whatever it was came from the heavier yield. The test in its details and execution was satisfactorily conducted, and the comparison a fair one so far as could be determined by a single trial, and the result is given as such for what immediate service it may be to those interested ; though a comparison of this kind needs to be repeated several times, and under varying conditions, in order to safely establish conclusions.
Curtiss, C. F.
"Experimental crop notes for 1894.,"
Bulletin: Vol. 3
, Article 5.
Available at: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/bulletin/vol3/iss27/5