Concord flies again under Sunflower wing

Agco-Amity team up | The Sunflower 9700 is designed for small grain and features a five inch wide seedbed

WAHPETON, N.D. — There’s good news for farmers who shook their heads when the Concord air drill was pulled from the market.

The Sunflower 9700 Air Till Drill, which will be available for the 2013 seeding season, is a Concord drill with serious upgrades, said Mark Wyrick, global product manager for the Agco-Amity joint venture.

“When we were at Farm Progress in Regina last year, a lot of farmers were asking when we’re going to bring back the Concord,” Wyrick said.

“The Sunflower 9700 is the next generation of what would have been called the Concord. It’s the same concept as the Concord, but with a lot of improvements. The team that designed the Sunflower 9700 is the same team that designed the original Concord.”

The drill is manufactured in Wahpeton under the joint venture.

Wyrick said the 9700 is designed to be a one-pass drill for small grain. The wide ribbon seed bed is a key feature, and the five inch wide seedbed has the highest seedbed utilization available with row packing.

The shanks are on a 10 inch row spacing. Each ribbon row is five inches wide, which leaves a five inch non-tilled strip between each row.

Wyrick said the 9700 has more of a square shaped frame and is deeper front to rear. Unlike the 9800 Single Disc Drill that Agco-Amity introduced at the same time, the Air Till Drill is intended to operate at a more conventional five m.p.h.

“Ribbon seeding was long ago proven to produce yields that consistently outperform conventional row drills,” said Tom Draper, product manager of seeding and tillage equipment at Sunflower.

“Plant response with ribbon seeding is a much stronger stem, superior roots and maximum yields. Concord proved over and over again that this is the key to maximum production.”

He said ribbon seeding is the foundation of the 9700 and allows producers to choose between three options for fertilizer placement:

  • fertilizer can be placed with the seed in the ribbon
  • fertilizer can be placed below the seed ribbon with a variety of opener configurations
  • anhydrous can be placed at the wing tips of sweep openers

Draper said packing is the key to uniform emergence in cereal grains, and good packing can’t be attained without a heavy frame. Weighing in at 36,500 pounds for the 60 foot drill, the Amity-designed 9700 weighs more than most similar drills from other competitors.

Each packing wheel is mounted on its own walking beam, and each walking beam has its own individual spring mount to the drill frame. A run will hop stones or ridges that it encounters without affecting the others.

The 9700 functions in all seeding situations, from conventional tillage to no-till in heavy residue, but seeding into heavy residue was the design team’s major goal. Shanks are arranged on the frame so the drill can seed into extreme conditions without clogging.

Optional coulters at the front are available for severe residue situations such as standing corn stalks and heavy wheat residue.

An optional disc leveller prevents the rear shanks from covering the rows of the front shanks, ensuring that all seed rows have an equal amount of soil cover for uniform seed germination and emergence.

Depth control collars on the hydraulic packer lift cylinders allow the operator to see if all openers are at the correct depth. Re-phasing lift cylinders allows the drill to return to the same level after raising and lowering.

The drill has a 650 lb. trip spring to allow the openers to jump over obstacles and immediately return to work. The 9700 can be set up for anhydrous ammonia.

Power requirements are seven to nine horsepower per foot of drill.

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