26 May 1995

Two-row planter easily adapts to four in a bed

FOUR in a bed will go. Latest development from Kverneland UK is to adapt a two-row planter to place four rows of potatoes in a 1.8m (72in) wide bed.

It is a technique which the company hopes will find favour with growers of potatoes lifted before they reach full maturity-the canning market, for example.

Dividers fitted

Based on the companys UN3000 two-row planter, which uses two belts to feed each row, the adaption to plant four rows entails fitting a divider at the bottom of each of the twin tubes. Speed of the belts has to be doubled to cater for the extra two rows-simply instigated by altering the gearing drive from the land wheel.

Trialled last year in Sweden and France, where results are claimed to have been favourable, this year has seen the machine plant a limited acreage in Norfolk.

David Holmes, Kvernelands potato products manager, believes the system could offer growers a simple and viable way of increasing yield.

"The system provides space for individual plants, allowing them to develop more evenly," he says, adding that it is a cheap and simple conversion for owners of two-row planters to make.

Kverneland has adapted its two-row potato planter to plant four rows in a single bed. Adaption entails fitting a divider at the end of each tube.