New plot seeder for faba bean

December 15, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Low cost, high performance – the new seeder being tested at Tel Hadya

For many years, faba bean breeders were forced to limit the size of experimental plots, and the number of genotypes tested, because planting had to be done manually, since existing research-plot seeders could not accommodate the large seeds. This problem has now been resolved, with a new, specially designed seeder developed jointly by ICARDA and the Al Rashid Company in El-Bab, near Aleppo.

Technical discussions and prototype development began in summer 2009. An improved prototype was tested successfully at ICARDA headquarters in November 2010, and is being used for the current planting season. The new seeder has greatly reduced the time and labor needed for planting. Experimental plots at Tel Hadya have expanded from 3 hectares in the 2007/08 season to 14 hectares this season.

Imported seeding machines are available, but cannot handle very large seeds, and cannot be easily adjusted for different seed sizes (100-seed weight in our faba bean experimental materials ranges from 20g to 250g). The new seeder can do both these things – and costs US$ 6500, compared to US$ 27,000 for the cheapest imported seeder. Congratulations to the ICARDA staff who led this effort: Dr Fouad Maalouf, Faba Bean Breeder, and Mr Micheal Micheal, Research Associate.

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