Potato kit specialist Grimme has unveiled a new generation of planters and harvesters with significant modifications.
The firm hopes its new four-row GL44T planter will offer growers improved performance over other belt-fed machines, while the new Tectron self-propelled harvester has been designed to lift potatoes more efficiently.
The GL44T planter has been designed to give some of the accuracy of cup-fed planters to a belt-fed machine. Seed is channelled on to ridged belts running from the 3t hopper to each planting downpipe.
But to avoid a pile-up of potatoes causing gaps in plantings, each ridged belt has a conveyor belt to the right and left, running in the opposite direction.
These pick up superfluous potatoes and return them to the start of the belt for gentle alignment into the planting row.
Most belt planters have needed relatively flat fields for optimum performance, but Grimme has equipped its new four-rower with automatic, hydraulic fore-and-aft (±8%) and lateral levelling to allow precise spacing even on slopes.
Fertiliser placement and liquid seed treatment options are also available.
Also new from Grimme, its new generation 490hp four-row Tectron self-propelled harvester will begin arriving in European fields next year and features the maker’s new “Terra-Float” pick-up system, with fi ve 950mm diameter wheels running in front of the lift elevator.
These act as depth control and yawing stabiliser and take over from standard disc coulters. The Terra-Float wheels replace the Diabolo rollers and this, says Grimme, means that earth and tubers are lifted more freely on to the elevator web, improving performance.
Terra-Float wheels also take some of the load off the harvester’s front axle and help to reduce soil compaction.
With a haulm chopper fitted, the big wheels press the trash into the ground between the furrows, substantially reducing stalks and leaves flowing up the elevator.