McConnel might be best known for its hedge and verge kit, but the Shropshire firm is now trying its hand at seed drills with the launch of its strip-till Seedaerator at this year’s Cereals event.
It’s an increasingly popular drilling philosophy – a makeweight between direct drilling (where the soil isn’t moved at all) and full cultivation drilling where the soil is bashed into submission before the seed is sown.
Up front, the Seedaerator has nine shear-pin protected leading legs running in line with the seed coulters. These are designed to minimise soil disturbance, only working in the root zone where the seed is to be placed and leaving the soil between bands unmoved.
Leg depth can be adjusted in 50mm increments from 100-300mm and the feet are designed to avoid bringing clods to the surface. The stagger between the sowing bands and the high ground clearance should keep the drill moving in trashy conditions.
Following the legs is a row of large pneumatic tyres with chevron lugs to firm and till the soil. These also help distribute the drill’s weight and maintain consistent leg and coulter depth.
The contour-following seed coulters place seed in 150mm bands and their working depth can be adjusted from 25-150mm in 25mm increments. Seed is blown down from the standard-sized 600kg hopper to an RDS metering system. There’s also an optional bolt-on hopper extension that ups capacity to 1,250kg.
The adjustable pressure of the rear packer wheel helps ensure seed placement is uniform and firms soil to improve the seed-to-soil contact. Heavy-duty covering tines, which can be moved according to ground conditions, tidy up at the back.
McConnel reckons 160hp should be enough to pull the 3m drill at speeds of about 10kph. Prices are set to start from £29,500.
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