The first new Structural potato planter in 10 years made its UK debut on the Miedema Mercer stand in the root crops area of the Cereals Event. Replacing the PM20, the Structural 2000 has a bigger hopper and a self-levelling belt planting mechanism with hydraulic instead of ground drive.
The last of those features means seed tubers are no longer left uncovered at the end of the drill and it allows the singling/planting belt system to be primed ready for planting; the operator has to do that by hand on the current machine. The operator also gets a clear view of the belts and soft foam planting roller mechanism as a result of positioning the larger hopper – capacity is up from 1,200kg to 1,400kg – a little further back.
Users working on anything less than level fenland will appreciate the Hill-Master levelling feature, which keeps the planting belts on an even keel whether the planter is working up or down hill, when otherwise tubers tend to roll forwards or backwards and disrupt the even delivery of seed.
The MR-Control system, which electronically maintains even hood pressure for consistently tidy ridge finishing, is carried over from the PM20. The belt planter copes well with larger and/or irregular-shaped seed, says Miedema Mercer, and is capable of delivering high outputs from working speeds typically of 8-10kph or more.
The new “2000” model is priced from £28,000 and its new colour screen digital controller can also be used on Miedema’s new box filler, which has been configured to load narrower but taller boxes more effectively.