Horsch has revealed its new AutoForce coulter control system, which automatically adjusts coulter pressure on the move to suit varying soil conditions.

Drill operators typically set coulter pressure to match their heaviest soil conditions, but research by Horsch has revealed this can lead to increased compaction when moving across patches of the field covered by lighter soils.

The company says the 300kg/row unit coulter pressure on its Maestro maize drill is ideal for heavy land, but the research, conducted across Europe over the past three years, has shown a more even seed germination by reducing coulter pressure in lighter soils.

See also: Pottinger double row maize drilling could increase crop yields

Maize is renowned for its lazy root structure and ensuring accurate seed and fertiliser placement is essential for good yields.

Sensors monitor two eight-row sections on a 16-row Maestro drill and the system uses hydraulic rams to continuously adapt downward pressure while drilling to prevent compaction on light land or reduced sowing depth on heavy land.

It means it is easier for drill operators to maintain a steady 2.5in-3in drilling depth, while also increasing the travel speed, and trials have suggested seed placement accuracy of 98%.