An angled drill coulter design is being unveiled by Weaving Machinery, following its development with Lincolnshire arable farmer Tony Gent.
Mr Gent has brought a number of innovative ideas to commercial reality and although his coulter uses two discs to form an opener, which is not uncommon, the way they are arranged is unusual.
Instead of being mounted upright, the discs are set 25deg from vertical and are able to pivot around a central kingpin within the coulter body.
The larger of the two flat discs cuts an opening slice; the smaller inner disc then undermines the “upper” side of the slice to form an opening for seed placement.
The soil slice is quickly firmed down by a single press wheel that also regulates sowing depth in 15mm adjustable increments using a pin-and-hole mechanism. Mounting the opener on parallel linkage keeps the working angle correct as it rises and falls over surface undulations.
Following contours accurately is helped by the 200kg of available hydraulic downward pressure – which also helps maintain penetration in heavier or very dry soils – while 1m inter-row clearance provides a lot of space for the two rows of coulters to work cleanly in very trashy conditions.
The development has prompted Weaving to build a mounted min-till drill for the first time to cater for smaller growers wanting to adopt this approach to establish crops.
It will be available in 3m to 4.8m working widths, but trailed units from 4m to 8m will also be available, using the company’s established 2.5t seed cart.
Horsch has evolved the design of its twin-disc coulter for the Pronto, Express and Focus drills.
Key features of the TurboDisc coulter include the curved seed tube and a shallower position for the Uniformer to reduce the drop angle of the seed. This is said to result in smoother, more accurate seed placement and more even germination.
The improved design also allows impact to be distributed more evenly for improved reliability and resistance to wear, says Horsch.
In addition, the press wheel tyre is now softer and has a larger diameter, both of which are said to prevent soil from sticking easily. Also, a new scraper is slightly inclined and can be adjusted more easily.
Double-disc coulters on trailing arms with polyurethane suspension blocks feature on the Espro drill being unveiled by Kuhn at Cereals.
It follows a familiar layout – an optional row of tyres across the front to level and consolidate cultivated or ploughed soils, followed by two rows of 460mm serrated discs with hydraulic depth adjustment.
A staggered row of traction-pattern packer tyres comes next to firm the tilth, which is sown into by the coulters ahead of a slim press/depth wheel and covering harrow tines.
A large hopper – arranged lengthways for rearwards visibility – is installed on the 6m drill being shown; other sizes are also planned.
Joystick operation and a choice of Kuhn CCI200 isobus or VT50 non-isobus terminals complete the package, which Kuhn engineers say has been designed for low draft load and fast drilling speeds. The 6m machine can be handled by a 200hp tractor and achieve 17kph while still sowing accurately and evenly, they say.
A relatively low power requirement is also one of the aims of the Eco-T being shown by Dale Drills. It uses the familiar slimline tine coulters of the company’s Eco-Drill, but in a lighter, more compact package.
A 150hp tractor should be ample for the 4.8m model, resulting in running cost and compaction advantages, says Dale.
The coulters are arranged in three rows with transport wheels between the first and second rows, which not only provides plenty of trash clearance where it is most needed, but also supports the front-mounted 2.2t capacity hopper and ensures tight-turning manoeuvrability.
As on the Eco-Drill, the knife coulters can be set-up for 125cm, 25cm and 50cm row spacing to suit different crops, with a placement tine available for fertiliser and deeper soil loosening if required