Types of seeders

Types of seeders - air seeder - planter - broadcast seederThere are many different types of seeders out there today, but what is the right kind for you. In this post you are going to learn about the different types of seeders.

Broadcast seeders

Broadcast seeders are one of the most versatile seeders available out there. There are many different types of broadcast seeders. They range from carried seeders to ones on the back of tractors.

The most common use for this type of seeder is with grass seed. Many people use this method to spread grass seed on their lawn in the spring.  Also, sometimes broadcast seeders distribute salt up here in Canada.

For most farm work, this type of seeder isn’t  used very much because it isn’t as accurate as you would want. This is particularly true when you consider the price of the seed you are putting in.

Advantages of broadcast seeders

  1. Easy to use.
  2. Get seeds out quickly over a large area.
  3. Relatively cheap

Disadvantages of broadcast seeders

  1. There is more waste.
  2. Not accurate.

Here is a video of a braodcast seeder.

Air Seeders

Air seeders tend work best with smaller seeds because the way they operate.  Air seeders aren’t as multi-purpose as others seeders can be.  Air seeders need to be used with round and small seeds.

Many air seeders can deliver seeds and fertilizer.

One thing to consider is how big air seeders are. On average they are larger than other seeders.

Advantages of air seeders

  1. Cover a large area before you need more seed.
  2. Fertilize at the same time as seeding.
  3. Reduce field operations.
  4. Easy to hook up the equipment, and also makes transporting easier.
  5. Less maintenance because there are less moving parts.

Disadvantages of air seeders

  1. Some of the older air seeders may have trouble controlling population.
  2. Lines can get clogged.
  3. Ground coverage is  bad depending on your seeder.
  4. Limited to seeds that will work properly with the seeder.
  5. Typically bigger.

Here is video that walks you through a John Deere Air Seeder.

Box Drill Seeders

Box drills tend are  the go to seeder. They are the ones that you use for most seeds. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they it well.

Many small farms use box drills because they are multi-purpose.

Advantages of box drills

  1. Low horsepower needed.
  2. Wider variety of  seed usage depending on metering.
  3. Easy to use.
  4. Low maintenance.
  5. Better for smaller farms.

Disadvantages of box drills

  1. Bad at population control.
  2. Can be slower to do job.
  3. Mostly small grains.


Planters are the most accurate type of seeder available, and they are the most expensive ones.

You use planters primarily for corn and soybeans in Canada. I have heard some people try to use them for canola, but they aren’t as effective for small grains.

Advantages of planters

  1. Very precise metering.
  2. Uniform seed depth.

Disadvantages of planters

  1. They are very expensive.
  2. Availability. In some places they are hard to find parts for.
  3. Only for larger seeds.

Here is a video of a planter.

Final thoughts on types of seeders

Depending on what type of farm you have, you will have a few choices available to you. Typically, if you are running a small farm, you have two choices: a box drill or a planter. If you have  a larger farm, you have the choice of planter, air seeder or box drill.

In the end it all comes down to what you wan the seeder for.  Larger seeds work better with a  planter. Most seeds work with a box drill. Air seeders work best with smaller seeds.


What type of seeders do you use and why?


I ask on twitter what people had to say about the types of seeders, and  I got some input from a couple of people. I just thought I would say thank you.

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