What is a seed drill?

A seed drill was a devise that allowed farmers to plant seeds in the soil and then cover them up. The instrument, created in 1701 by the English farmer Jethro Tull, allowed farmers to sow seeds in well-spaced rows at specific depths at a specific seed rate. Before this, farmers cast seeds to the ground in a haphazard fashion by hand, allowing them to grow where they landed (called “broadcasting”). The seed drill allowed farmers more control over their crops and less waste, and was one of Tull's several inventions, which included the horse-drawn hoe and an improved plough. Seed drills are still in use today, although they are more sophisticated mechanisms that allow farmers to cultivate many more acres of land than the machines of yesterday.


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