What new seed drills and precision planters have been launched onto the market recently? We‘ve made an overview for you.
This Swedish company is working with industry partners through the Agtech 2030 innovation programme to apply hydraulic actuator technology developed by aerospace company Saab to a planter toolbar for quick and infinitely variable seed unit spacing. Flexrow would need only a button press to select a row spacing to suit different crops and conditions and the mechanism could also be used to conveniently close-up units for road travel or to compensate for a malfunctioning sowing unit by aligning it between the rows and moving another unit to temporarily take its place. Landberg’s next step is to build a complete planter to trial and showcase the concept.
Folding toolbars designed to accept planter components and technologies from specialist manufacturer Precision Planting have been developed to cover multiple overall and row widths by Horizon Agriculture in the UK. The PPX frames come with a Category III hitch for a tractor three-point linkage, are produced in standard widths from 4.4m to 6.4m with specials available to order, and fold vertically for transport within 3.0m, even with PP’s FurrowForce closing system fitted. There are standard mounts for a DeltaForce automated downforce control valve block, an alternator, vacuum fan and manifold, and they will accept any planting units with a 180mm x 180mm (7in x 7in) mounting clamp. Complete planters are available in the UK.
Wrap-around liquid tanks that replace the rear mudguards on a John Deere 8RX all-tracked tractor provide 3,785 litres (1,000 gallons) of liquid fertiliser capacity to complement the 2,271 litre (600 gallon) on-board tank of the latest John Deere 1775NT planters. The solution caters for growers who want to apply high rates of liquid fertiliser at planting without frequent fill-up stops; seed capacity has been increased 30% to match. It also provides a single-supplier, factory-installed system as an alternative to third party add-ons and since the ExactRate twin tractor-mounted tanks installed around the rear track assemblies incorporate all required lighting they can remain in place year-round. John Deere has also introduced optional track assemblies for the 1775NT planters, which are said to reduce ground pressure when the planter is fully loaded by more than 70% to minimise soil compaction.
A new row cleaner from Precision Planting is designed to more effectively clear debris from the path of a precision planter unit. Unusually, the Reveal row cleaner is mounted on the planter frame to eliminate any impact a unit-mounted cleaner can have on row unit ride and down-force. It therefore has independent pressure, which is adjusted in the cab using a manual regulator or through the 20|20 terminal display, and tine depth that is adjustable individually on each cleaner assembly. A gauge wheel positioned behind the two finger discs regulates the cleaner from the ‘revealed’ clean soil surface for greater consistency.
Calculating where to correctly place tramlines – the crop-free rows that allow fertiliser spreading and spraying operations to take place without damage – can be tricky so Lemken has devised an online tool to help. Users select which of Solitair 25 and Azurit precision seeders is being used, then spraying width, whether tramlines will be formed in a single pass or with two passes, where the field edge will be on the first pass, left or right, the track-width spacing of tractors, tyre width, tyre edge to plant distance and the number of seed rows between the tractors wheels. The Azurit plants in a delta-row pattern, with each seed row consisting of two staggered sub-rows 125mm apart. With one twin-row deactivated, the distance between rows is increased from 625mm to 750mm; deactivating another twin row increases the tramline width to 875mm to allow use of wide tyres. The calculator works out which rows should be switched off where to suit the grower’s system.
With a rigid 4m wide frame, the latest additions to the Hybrid tine drill range from UK manufacturer Claydon suits growers with no transport width restrictions and a medium size tractor with 200hp or more. There is a seed-only version with 1,750-litre hopper and a seed/fertiliser model with a 2,100-litre hopper divided 50:50 and placing fertiliser either below or above the seed using the leading tine or coulter tines. Both versions have Claydon’s signature tine system, comprising a very narrow leading tine to create a micro tilth and penetrate below sowing depth for drainage and initial root development, followed by a seeding tine in 7in ‘A’ share form, with an alternative share or a new low-disturbance twin tine intended mainly for sticky soil conditions. Shear bolt tine protection is standard and a choice of finishing tools is available.
Flexible manual row-spacing adjustment thanks to a mounting rail is a feature of the 6m wide Precea 6000 eight- or nine-row precision planter from German manufacturer Amazone, which joins existing rigid 3000 and telescopic 4500 models. The new mounted version is available in rigid and folding formats with a fertiliser hopper and additional tractor-mounted hopper available for under-root placement as the crop is planted. Over-pressure rather than vacuum singling is a feature of the sealed Precea seeding unit design, together with high-speed capability thanks to electric drive, rapid ejection of seed from the singling unit and a catching roller designed to arrest the seed once it hits the furrow bottom. An optical sensor monitors this process. For mulch seeding, the PreTecC coulter pressure can be ramped up from 220kg mechanical to 350kg hydraulic, both adjustable from the tractor cab.