17 May 1996

Seed tank options with modular drill

TRULY modular construction is incorporated on Kongskildes Demeter pneumatic grain drill. Its seed tank can be mounted on the tractors nose, on top of a rear-mounted cultivator, or direct to the tractors rear linkage.

Charles Moulton, Kongskilde UKs managing director, expects initial interest to centre on the cultivator-mounted configuration, accounting for about 60% of sales. But he predicts that split will change.

"Mounting the seed tank on the front of the tractor makes sense. The weight of the total drilling outfit is more evenly distributed and, with less rear lift capacity needed, may mean some farms can use a smaller tractor."

Seed metering on the Demeter is a development of the same principle used by the firms two-year-old cultivator drill – pneumatic fan seed transfer from hopper to individual mechanical metering units, and from units to coulters.

The same fan can also be used to suck grain from bag or trailer into hopper, giving the drill a self-fill capability. Switching the fans inlet converts the seed hopper into a massive vacuum cleaner with a claimed filling rate of 500kg in less than 2min. And for farms still using 50kg sacks there is an option of a sprayer-like, low level induction hopper.

Coulter-bar design is standard throughout the Demeter range, irrespective of hopper position. Mounted on a parallelogram linkage which can be raised or lowered independently, the bar is triangular in section and accommodates the two metering chambers along with two rows of coulters. Altering linkage height and coulter spring tension controls sowing depth.

Kongskilde claims this combination of mechanical metering roller design, high air speed transfer and having the metering units close to the coulters gives more precise placement of seed than a conventional pneumatic drill. It also claims 10-15% reductions in seed rate are achievable.

"Standard of seed placement is somewhere between that of a conventional seed drill and specialist precision drills, such as those used for sugar beet," says Kongskildes Malcolm Greves.

Initially, only 3m (from £10,250) and 4m (from £11,750) wide Demeter drills will go on sale in the UK – wider versions are planned.

Suck or blow, the self-filling Kongskilde Demeter drill is capable of both.