Friday, 21 February 2020 10:36

Monosem brings precision to Southland

Written by  Mark Daniel
Monosem Monoshox NG Plus M pneumatic planter. Monosem Monoshox NG Plus M pneumatic planter.

A Monosem Monoshox NG Plus M pneumatic planter, with double discs and individual seeding units, has proved to be the perfect choice for Murray and Nick Johns.

The father and son team, whose main criteria are precision and robustness, own 400ha and lease a further 150ha in Dipton, Southland.

Alongside their sheep and beef farming operation, they also provide contracting services in cultivation, planting, hay and balage.

Originally supplied on 500-mm spacings, the eight-row, rigid Monosem has been narrowed sown to a 475-mm spacing, making it 3.5m wide, so easier to get through gateways. narrowed down to make it easier to get through gateways. 

Used for fodder beet and swedes, Nick says pelletised swede seeds is a growing trend in Southland. 

“Traditionally farmers took under-performing grass paddocks and drilled them in swedes. Then they wondered why the crop was light. Fodder beet has taught us the importance of spacing and soil fertility.”

Alongside planting, the drill also allows the addition of fertiliser, carrying a tonne, that is usually applied at a rate 200-250 kg/ha.

Planting into cultivated ground, the Johns’ note that a fine and firm seedbed is particularly important for even germination. In operation, clod removers create a clear pathway, double discs open the furrow, while a V-tip finishes the base of the furrow, before coulters place the seed precisely. 

The Monoshox patented shock absorber system on each seeding unit, ensures a precise planting depth and greater consistency, leading to more regular emergence and final harvest

Mounted on the three-point linkage of a 150hp tractor, horsepower is not an issue, but the weight of the tractor improves stability when carrying seed and fertiliser.

The versatility of the planter, with regards to row width and sowing depth, has resulted in a home trial that saw swedes and fodder beet planted in alternate rows, that proved a hit with stock.

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