Seed drilling is a method used by farmers in order to have a more unified, crop-yielding season. The first known use of seed drilling was in 1500 BC by the Sumerian. At this time, they were using a single tube.
Later, in the 2nd Century BC, the Chinese developed a multi-tube iron drill. This facilitated in a larger crop planting allowing them to feed their large population. The first recorded patent of a sowing machine was in 1566 by the Venetian Senate, attributing Camillo Torello. In the early stages of development, the sowing machine used was expensive, unreliable, and very fragile.
Earlier methods of planting crops were very basic; just tilling the ground and tossing seeds onto it. Spreading seeds in this manner created disarray in the crop yield. This process, known as manual broadcasting, made it difficult for the farmers to control the weeds causing a loss of nutrients and minerals needed for the crop.
Due to these downfalls, the farmers needed a better method of planting. Seed drilling was their answer. After the development of gas tractors, there came more developed sowing machines. This method allows farmers to have better control over the depth and space between each seed, along with how many seeds planted into each drilled hole. This new method of planting also gave an advantage to the amount of seeds lost due to the elements surrounding the crop, thus reducing the cost of a crop.
Image Caption: A modern sowing/seed drilling machine fro grain and rapeseed. Credit: Mahlum / Wikipedia