29 December 1995

Drill meter made for accuracy

ACCURATE seed placement is deemed to be the major feature of the new sugar beet drill now marketed by Armer Machinery. Designated the Meca 2000, the drill is one of the French-built Monosem range.

Innovation is to be found in the drills metering system which is a totally new design. Heart of the system is a 250mm disc which has five cells on its circumference. Individual seeds are picked up close to the bottom of the unit and taken round the disc in the cells. When each seed arrives at the point closest to the ground it is ejected – a small nylon "prong" at the exit point ensures the seed is positively ejected.

The manufacturer points out, that as the peripheral speed of the metering wheel is very close to ground speed, the chance of seed bounce is minimal. And, in good ground conditions, operating speed can be higher than with other designs.

Drive for the metering system is via a ground wheel and gearbox – the latter providing 18 ratios for seed spacings from 11-24cm (4.5-9.75in).

The seeder unit itself, which is mounted to a mainframe on a parallel linkage, also offers several new ideas. Depth is controlled by the front wheel, adjustable in 5mm increments to provide a drilling depth from 1-5cm (0.4-2in). Once the seed is in the ground a wide steel press wheel complete plastic scraper firms it in. This is followed by a small metal bar to provide a soil covering, two angled press wheels and finally, two crumbler rollers to leave the surface slightly broken and prevent capping.

The two angled press wheels are spring loaded so they can be set to take a variable amount of weight off the front depth wheel – an arrangement which prevents "bulldozing" in light soil conditions.

Price of the 12-row folding version starts at £14,850, with the rigid version listed at £12,100.