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Air Seeders

Bourgault Industries of St. Brieux, Saskatchewan, began a revolution in the agriculture industry in 1980 by manufacturing an air seeder that could be towed behind a cultivator to provide the tractor operator with a clear view of the field. The first air seeders had been patented in Australia in 1956 and several companies had been marketing the product to farmers around the world before the Bourgault breakthrough.

However, the technology acquired by Frank Bourgault from Jerome Bechard, another Saskatchewan inventor, changed Farming practices and saved producers' time: the Bechard Seeding System was the heart of the new Bourgault Air Seeder, Model 138.

Bourgault Industries manufactured seven air seeders in the first year, but the number rose to forty in 1981 to feed an increasing demand. Since then, the Bourgault Air Seeder has served as a prototype for air seeders developed for farmers around the world.

The Bourgault Air Seeder's three large floatation tires mean that it applies no more pressure to the field than a man walking across it: crop yields thus increase because of reduced damage to the seeded field. Another key advantage that the Bourgault Air Seeder offers producers is that the machinery can quickly be disconnected, freeing the cultivator for other field work. The tow-behind concept unit has since served as the concept for virtually all the tow-behind air seeders currently being produced throughout the world.

Over the years, Bourgault has continued to improve upon the original technology, and now produces air seeders that can cover more than 20 metres in a single pass.

Joe Ralko

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