Power Farming's biennial farm machinery tour of Northern Europe recently took in the latest technology in cultivation, seeding and grassland machinery.
Based on the key features of the successful 6m machine, the drill retains the same layout and drilling units as the Seedmatic range, but has a new air-transport system and e-drive metering control.
Offering a 24-row layout with 5-inch row spacing, the unit also incorporates a 550mm frame stagger to allow the passage of trash or debris.
Up front, a mechanically adjustable drawbar allows the machine to be pulled level, irrespective of tractor drawbar height, with a hydraulic option if required.
As with the Seedmatic range, a front gang of individually sprung 12-inch disc openers give a lead in for the seeding tines. The layout allows the unit to cope with turf or trash and leave a clean, neat slot for seeding, using hydraulic depth control that is adjustable on the move.
Seeding tines, with double-coil springs for positive penetration in difficult conditions, carry an inverted-T point. This creates a tilth and a trench into which the seed and fertiliser is placed. Tines carry seed and fertiliser tubes mounted on the same bracket to ensure accurate placement in the trench.
Depth gauge wheels use threaded adjustment for accurate depth control, while oversized transport wheels allow for quick headland turns or moves between jobs.
Drill hoppers use a split configuration, allowing a central access platform for safe, easy loading. The platform is accessed via steps at one end and has a drop-down ramp to access trailers or ute beds at the other.
An optional HIAB hydraulic crane can also be specified for easy loading of big bags.
Air flow is produced by a hydraulically driven fan, easily adjusted for volume. This can ‘feather’ air flow to ensure small or light seeds are not blown from the seeding trench.
At the rear of the machine, an ear roller system consolidates across the full working width.
The Aitchison drill controller enables control of three seed boxes and calibration of all metering devices using the integral AutoCal function. The system can also memorise calibration settings for multiple seed types, offer on-the-move seed rate variation and store job data including customer, farm, field, seed type, area covered and quantity used – all downloadable to a USB drive.