Design and evaluation of a no-tillage seeder for small scale vegetable production using a two-wheeled tractor in Coahuila, Mexico

J. de Vries, M. Cadena Zapata, W.B. Hoogmoed

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademic


Currently used conventional tillage systems for small-scale vegetable production in the region of Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico require a considerable amount of hand labor, energy and materials for all activities. Seedbed preparation can require up to 60% of the total production cost in some systems in Mexico. Further, soil is degraded and eroded due to the system. Conservation tillage may reduce costs and prevent soil degradation, but appropriate tools, such as, no-tillage seeders for small-scale farmers are not available. This papers reports on the design and construction of a prototype of a no-tillage seeder for small-scale conservation tillage using a 2-wheeled tractor. Three main functions received particular attention: opening of the soil, placing seed and/or fertilizer and closing the slot. Because of its vapor conservation and good seedling emergence, tools to create T-shaped slots were chosen, with adapted depth control and closing and covering devices. A systematic design process was applied in order to reach the required decisions. Function diagrams were defined from where morphologic charts guided the selection of the configuration of the seeder. A preliminary evaluation included testing of two furrow opener disc types (notched and fluted), and four crop residue levels, 0, 30, 60 and 100%, with respect to performance of the seeder. An evaluation showed that with low cover amounts a consistent and firm seed cover was obtained, but emergence quality decreased due to insufficient residue cover. The notched disc had a better performance than the fluted disc. The inverted T-shape in the soil was not always sustained due to technical flaws. It was possible to build a prototype under 2000 dollars with basic tools in a local workshop. Further research will focus on the biological performance and improvement of the mechanical components and performance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationISTRO 18th Triennial Conference Proceedings, Izmir, Turkey, 15-19 June 2009
Place of PublicationIzmir, Turkey
PublisherInternational Soil Tillage Research Organization
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventISTRO 18th Triennial Conference, Izmir, Turkey -
Duration: 15 Jun 200919 Jun 2009


ConferenceISTRO 18th Triennial Conference, Izmir, Turkey

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