HORSCH introduces Maestro RC mounted planters
By Top Crop Manager
For spring 2019, the German equipment brand HORSCH will launch its Maestro RC mounted row crop planters in North America.
Built at HORSCH’s Mapleton, North Dakota facility, the mounted planter will include an innovative folding toolbar, a unique weight transfer system for maintaining row unit stability, and a forward-mounted seed tank for better weight balance to help eliminate pinch rows.
The new Maestro RC series row crop planters will be introduced starting with two models, the RC1230 (12-row, 30-inch spacing) and the RC1630 (16-row, 30-inch spacing). The Maestro RC features a vertical flex fold toolbar, which takes a different approach to traditional stacker planters. “As we started the Maestro RC project, we sat down and visited with many farmers from different market areas discussing their needs. From this feedback we decided to start fresh with a blank sheet of paper and rethink mounted planter technology,” says Jeremy Hughes, product manager for HORSCH. “What resulted is a new Vertical Flex Fold toolbar concept that gives users several distinct agronomic and maneuverability advantages versus traditional stack fold planters.”
HORSCH says the advantages of this design include the greatest wing flexibility of any mounted planter — 10 degrees up 10 degrees down — for maximum terrain-following performance on rolling land. The geometry of the toolbar design also allows the Maestro RC’s 64-bushel seed tank to be moved closer to the tractor linkage point, shifting the weight of the implement to the tractor.
With the new toolbar concept and seed tank moved closer to the tractor linkage, rear lift assist caster wheels have been eliminated. “Nearly every farmer we talk to with bigger stacker planters fight pinch row and maneuverability issues,” Hughes says. “The weight on the caster wheels creates compaction, which reduces yield potential in those rows. Eliminating the rear lift assist caster wheels also makes maneuvering much easier on ridges, headland areas, field entrances, and during road transport.”
Another standard feature on the Maestro RC line is a weight transfer system, which is designed to address the common concern of seed depth control on mounted planters. “We hear a lot in the industry today about row unit ride quality, or row unit stability,” Hughes says. “Before you can even start thinking about stabilizing the row unit for precise depth control, however, you first must stabilize the toolbar. It’s common sense: In order to apply down pressure, you need to have a constant to push up against.”
The Maestro RC also features hydraulic row unit down pressure as a standard feature to further help maintain precise seed depth placement for securing maximum yield potential. An AutoForce system, which regulates down force automatically pending soil density characteristics, is an option.
“The Maestro RC has many standard features that are either options or not even offered on competitive mounted planters today,” Hughes says. Those standard features include HORSCH electric meter drives that ensure accuracy with seed singulation. Curve compensation maintains consistent row-to-row population around curves. Hydraulic weight transfer stabilizes the toolbar and row units, providing precise depth control. Additionally, all Maestro RC mounted planters are ISOBUS compatible. Options include a variety of seed firming devices, gauge wheel styles, a liquid system with sectional control, and a selection of metering discs for various crops.
“We started the Maestro RC project on the principle of seed placement. We included many technologies from our industry-leading Maestro SW planters, along with new innovations to give farmers exactly what they need in a mounted planter,” Hughes adds. “We are excited to show off the Maestro RC mounted planter in 2019 and will be announcing several public launch events soon.”
HORSCH is a global manufacturer of seeding, planting, tillage, and application equipment.