Cereals 2011 offers a great range of seed drills

Contemplating a new seed drill? Then be sure to set aside plenty of time to review options at the Cereals this year. Several new designs – and two new manufacturers to the UK market – are set to tempt growers from established models.

From across the pond comes the mighty Spartan seeder from Great Plains Manufacturing, one of several implements from the US concern being shown for the first time by its European subsidiary, Simba International.

For growers with root crops in the rotation or who prefer to plough then work down with a power harrow, Kuhn’s 6m CSC 6000 folding one-pass combination promises big outputs.

New twin disc openers for Amazone piggy-back and Pöttinger mechanical “box” drills will interest growers wanting to use this type of seeder for minimum tillage, as well as conventional seed-beds.

Pottinger Vitasem 302The Pottinger Vitasem range of mechanical drills can be had with twin-disc openers with the introduction of Dual Disc versions, which retain the conventional coulter model’s 125mm row spacing. Available in 3m and 4m sizes, the new drill is equipped with the same twin-disc coulter as the larger Terrasem trailed pneumatic machines to work in trash-laden seedbeds. A staggered disc arrangement helps penetration along with up to 50kg coulter pressure.

Fellow farmer-engineer Jeff Claydon, meanwhile, is expanding his range of tine direct seeders with a 3m version of the Hybrid Drill, which is already available in folding 4m, 4.8m and 6m sizes – all fully mounted.

While having different frame layouts, all Claydon drills have soil-working tines and seed coulters that follow the same principle – a leading narrow tine creates deep fissures to encourage drainage and to allow oilseed rape plants to put down deep roots. An “A” share tine then band sows seed into a localised tilth.

The Hybrid Drill comes with a conventional frame and either shear bolt or spring release tine coulter protection; the V-Drill has a swept-back vee-shaped toolbar and shear bolt protection; while the SR-Drill, which has a more conventional frame design, features spring stone release tine protection.

Amazone Rotec Control Coulter Re-designed standalone and power harrow-mounted drills from Amazone have a common feature in the Roller Drill System, which integrates the actions of the consolidating roller, new RoTeC Control disc coulter (pictured) and the finishing tool for more precise seed placement and firm seed:soil contact.

On the Hybrid, seed is a handled by a Sulky hopper and metering system with Ultron electronics providing on-the-go +/-10% seed rate variation to account for different soils and seedbed quality.

Among the established drill manufacturers, Simba is keeping final details of the seeder it has developed with Great Plains close to its chest for the time being. But it will gauge reaction to the big trailed Spartan disc coulter drill from its US parent’s portfolio.

Engineered to fold to the obligatory 3m European transport width, the 6m and 9m models destined for Cereals 2011 combine substantial seed-carrying capacity with a strip-till disc seeding mechanism.

The latter that employs a fluted disc to cultivate a 30-50mm strip for each row, then staggered twin-disc openers to place the seed. A choice of press wheels is available to suit different soils so that the seed is firmed into the localised tilth.

To help keep the discs in play, especially on heavier soils, there are hydraulic cylinders to transfer weight from the big seed cart – and there is plenty of it, given that the Spartan 9m has a pair of 3500-litre poly hoppers that can be used for seed or seed and fertiliser.

The 6m version comes with a couple of 2885-litre hoppers that can be employed in the same way, or a single 5280-litre seed-only container. Either way, the machine distributes its mass across a number of large pneumatic tyres.

Simba Great Plains Spartan Big trailed disc seeder from the Great Plains stable will be shown to gauge UK interest. The 9m [pictured] runs with two 3,500-litre poly seed tanks. 


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