As I sit in my office at the SeedMaster HQ in Emerald Park, Sask. I can’t help but think about the history of the company and how we’ve followed a similar path to the crop we love to seed — canola.
SeedMaster is a family business, it was founded by Norbert Beaujot in 2004. Beaujot, a farmer by trade, had worked hard with his family over the years to develop seeding equipment that worked for farmers on the Canadian Prairies, similar to how researchers at the University of Manitoba worked together to develop canola, a crop designed for the Prairies, in the 1970s. Canola is a crop that changed Western Canada just as we have changed the seeding world for it.
In the two decades since SeedMaster was founded we’ve worked hard to develop a seeder that is the CanolaMaster. Canola seed is very small which makes seeding it a challenge. There’s always concern about getting the seed metered accurately, putting it through the air distribution system, and getting proper placement in the ground as shallow as possible.
At SeedMaster we’ve developed metering technology which is extremely accurate. We have an individual meter plate for every opener resulting in the metering being as close to singulation as possible. We use an air distribution system that takes the seed directly from the meter to the opener, so there’s no distribution heads that can potentially damage the seed before going to the openers. The result, we see close to zero seed mortality with our seeders.
When you have zero seed mortality it allows you to cut back on your seeding rates. Seeding rates for canola normally run at around 4.5 to 5.5 pounds, depending on what you’re using for an air seeder. With the SeedMaster Ultra Pro system, we generally hear our customers use rates of three to 3.2 pounds per acre of canola seed. Saving two pounds per acre at today’s seeding costs can put up to $30 per acre back in your pocket while still giving you the plant population you’re looking for.
The combination of seed metering accuracy and plant breeding has allowed for canola to grow more successful in drier soils zones. Seed damage, which can jeopardize germination, is stopped by not having to blow the seed through distribution heads to separate and potentially damage it. We want to continue to make that seed journey as smooth as possible moving forward.
The precise metering and distribution systems are a real feather in our cap. The SeedMaster opener works extremely well in most soil zones and can put the seed in in an accurate, precise place giving you fast uniform emergence. This combination allows us to defend our CanolaMaster title.
The evolution of the metering and distribution system to be extremely accurate and minimizing seed mortality that happens with most other air seeding systems has been key to our work at SeedMaster. We continue to make our seeders better and we will to continue moving forward because canola is such an important crop on the Prairies.
Header photo — SeedMaster UltraPro II On Frame Tank provides incredible accuracy, gentle seed handling and uniformity across the width of the drill. Photo: SeedMaster