By Top Crop Manager
Tillage and seeding
By Top Crop Manager
Over the last year, dozens of new models
and designs of farm machinery have been introduced by manufacturers. Many of
you will have seen these introductions at farm shows and in various industry
announcements – but, can you remember the details? This feature provides
a reference for you. -30-
Peter Darbishire, Editor
While Top Crop Manager editors
make every effort to be objective when reporting on new products, they cannot
be held responsible for claims made by companies. Readers are encouraged to
contact the companies for more details.
Conserva Pak Seeding Systems' latest development, dubbed the Platinum
ILS, is a new hydraulic opener system featuring independent component operation,
linked together in its seeding system.
The opener has retained some existing features and provides some new additional
features, including: two independent hydraulic accumulator force systems to
enable the fertilizer opener force to be set completely independent of the seed
opener/packer wheel force. Each of these forces can easily be varied for the
whole seeder at a single point. These hydraulic systems do not require continuous
oil flow from the tractor; the fertilizer trip clearance is now 12 inches and
the breakout force of the opener in the ground can be varied from 100 to 800
pounds; the seed opener has both the angle of attack and the breakout force
adjustable from 10 to 120 pounds and will trip independent of the packer wheel
force; the seed opener options can place the seed on either one or two sides
of the furrow; and the packer/gauge wheel force can be varied at a single location,
completely independent of the fertilizer opener force from 20 to 250 pounds.
Morris has introduced a new controlled traffic precision air-cart. Available
in 4700 litre (130 bushel) and 6500 litre (180 bushel) capacities, these tow-behind
air-carts can be configured in two or three metre track widths.
Controlled traffic farming allows for a more efficient use of farmland and
overall fuel savings, since equipment is easier to pull on compacted wheel tracks.
By repeatedly driving in a defined wheel track with all farm equipment, the
compaction zone is kept separate from the crop zone. Controlled traffic results
in the producer not having to break up the compaction as would be required with
random field traffic. Random field traffic also leads to deeper sub-soil compaction
that can be difficult and costly to overcome. Controlled traffic leaves non-tracked
soil in an optimum state to promote plant growth, providing a more efficient
use of arable land. This type of practice is commonly used in countries such
as Australia and South Africa where high temperatures, and the lack of winter
frosts, cause severe compaction problems. -30-
Minimizes gaps and overlaps
The SiteWinder SureTrak option automatically steers equipment along straight
or curved paths for precise hands-off field operations. Farmers and commercial
applicators of fertilizer and agricultural chemicals can use SiteWinder to improve
precision and productivity for a variety of field operations including seeding
and crop spraying.
The GPS based guidance system is easy to use and provides well documented economic
and ergonomic benefits. It helps to reduce overlaps and gaps between swaths.
Driver fatigue is significantly reduced by taking over the tedious job of steering
the vehicle along a target line, especially at slow speeds during seeding.
With the SureCover option connected to a spray controller, SiteWinder automatically
turns individual spray sections on as the vehicle enters an area of the field
that has not been sprayed and turns them off when the vehicle enters an already
sprayed zone. This ensures complete coverage and reduced waste in headlands
and tapered end-rows, the areas of the field that are most prone to gaps and
overlaps. The system provides great assistance for one of the toughest parts
of spraying: turning the sections off and on at just the right moment as the
vehicle swings around 180 degrees to make the next pass.
The display is equipped with a touch screen, making operation extremely easy
and intuitive. There is no need to read and memorize a manual, the instructions
are on the interactive screen. The 10.4 inch colour touch screen has been equipped
with a tough, scratch resistant surface and enhanced with increased brightness.
SiteWinder automatically records all aspects of the work performed in the field
and displays this mapping information in 'real time', giving the operator excellent
situational awareness. -30-
Three big tanks
Seed Hawk has introduced the 777-SD air-cart. It carries 777 bushels in three
tanks with each having a dedicated metering system to control product flow to
the fertilizer or seed air stream. The three tanks have capacities of 239, 108
and 430 bushels respectively, giving flexibility to maximize seeding efficiency
for different crops.
A unique tank and metering system allows farmers to choose the proper tank
capacity for the seed and fertilizer volumes required to maximize seeding efficiency
for each crop. The Seed Hawk 777-SL is expected soon for liquid fertilizer users.
The liquid fertilizer will be pumped into the large tank while the two smaller
tanks will be used for seed and starter fertilizer. -30-
Four more models
Bourgault has unveiled four new 6000 series air-seeder models. The new models,
in addition to the 6550, are the 6200, 6280, 6350 and 6450. The last three digits
indicate the size of the tank in bushels. The 280 bushel model 6280 is a new
size for Bourgault, replacing the 250 bushel model 5250. The 450 bushel four
tank model 6450 is a new size that replaces the 440 bushel three tank model
5440. The model 6450 will also feature larger rear tank lids for more convenient
filling and a larger 10 inch load/unload auger for faster loading.
The Bourgault 6000 series builds on the success of the 5000 series air-seeders.
New features include: a gearbox and shaft drive system to efficiently transmit
power to the metering transmissions; a self-resetting torque limiter is now
used to protect the metering transmissions; 'straight-thru' product delivery
lines, which make it very easy to direct the contents of any tank into any air
stream; the optional touch screen Zynx monitoring system that monitors all air-seeder
operations, which also acts as a guidance system and a variable rate controller
that manages up to four products, including: liquid and NH3
fertilizer; ultra high molecular weight (UHMW) polyethylene metering augers
to greatly reduce the likelihood of seed treatment or fertilizer build up on
the metering augers for accurate and consistent application rates; and a hydraulically
powered option that allows operators to move up to 250 pounds of product from
ground level to the tank top of the air-seeder (not available on model 6200).
Small acreage harrow
Precision Metal Fabricating's new 15 foot Phillips rotary harrow has a narrow
transport width and tight turning radius. It is a match for small acreages and
The 15 foot harrow features a patented interlocking tine assembly with high
carbon, heat-treated tines providing for extra durability and long life. It
is exceptional in a no-till environment featuring three independently acting
modules that provide superior performance on uneven ground or heavy rock conditions,
says the company. It is also excellent in heavy trash or wet conditions creating
a level field without plugging or bunching. The harrow works in the top one
to 1.5 inches, so only the seedbed is worked, and soil density management is
preserved. It mixes in residue, warms the soil surface and levels the ground
so you can plant directly into the seedbed without any other preparation. This
unique machine is also a good tool for granular chemical, manure and fertilizer
incorporation, and is a great finishing tool. -30-
Precision Metal Fabricating
Deflector enables tall stubble seeding
With any dual knife seeding system, residue management is always an area that
can lead to headaches. The Deflector has made tremendous improvements in seeding
activity with drills like the Seed Master. Initially exclusively available on
Seed Master drills, now it has been developed to retrofit Seed Hawk seeders
too. Enabling seeding into tall stubble is beneficial in regions where precipitation
is the limiting factor for crop growth: winter snow catch is crucial to the
quick germination and pop-up of seedlings, says Straw Track Manufacturing.
Another option is the Smart Hitch. The row guidance system enables seeding
between standing stubble rows, effectively seeding between the rows of last
year's crop. -30-
Straw Track Manufacturing
To process the straw
Bourgault has released the 6000 Mid Harrow which bridges the gap between a light
harrow and a heavy harrow. The Mid Harrow has applications in conventional or
direct seeding practices. The harrow can be easily adjusted to perform straw
management, level fields, or firm-up seedbeds. For direct seeding farmers who
wish to conserve moisture, the 6000 Mid Harrow spreads residue to ease spring
seeding, while leaving enough stubble standing to act as a snow trap.
The harrow has 7/16 inch by 20 inch tines on two inch centres. The operator
hydraulically controls the down pressure on the tines to produce desired results.
The harrow sections are positively mounted to the frame with two spring-loaded
arms. The two independently mounted spring arms allow the harrow sections to
follow the contours of the ground while providing stability at high speeds.
It is designed for high speed operation in conventional or zero-till land. Three
horsepower per foot is ample for harrowing stubble at high speed, says the company.
The combination of easy pulling, high speed capability and working widths of
70 or 90 feet will allow coverage of hundreds of acres per day. -30-