Single rank drill provides precision planting

SeedMaster’s 60-foot Ultra SR air drill uses spike wheels between the shanks to clear residue away from the openers

LANGHAM, Sask. — SeedMaster’s Ultra SR is a single rank 60-foot precision air drill that seeds 15 inch rows, has 735 bushels of onboard capacity and will have a limited availably for growers in the 2020 planting season. 

“This provides the precision and accuracy for people who are looking at planters but still maintaining a one-pass air drill designed for large scale dry-land farming,” Anthony Biglieni of Seed Master said during this summer’s Ag In Motion farm show.

He said there aren’t more single rank precision drills on the market because seed shanks typically plug up when they are all placed in a single row. 

The Ultra SR uses spike wheels between the shanks to clear residue away from the openers. 

“The trash wheels are a simple spike, naturally ground-engaged, ground-driven trash-clearing wheel,” Biglieni said.

“They are there to prevent any hesitation and buildup of trash and just move it forward and through.” 

The trash wheels are connected together in five sections so if one of the wheels encounters a large residue pile that causes hesitation, the rest of the wheels in the drive line will help push the residue through. 

“You still have to be conscious of your residue plan and trash management,” Biglieni said.

“(However), this single rank drill allows you to go through tougher trash conditions than you would with your conventional precision drill.”

He said a single rank allows for a shorter drill that better follows ground counters and provides increased manoeuverability compared to traditional drills. 

The Ultra SR has SeedMaster’s UltraPro metering system. 

“It’s individual row metering. It’s a venturi style non-pressurized tank,” Biglieni said.

“On our seed runs we have the capability to meter two separate products, whether it be large course items, wheat, barley, cereal, even a seed-placed fertilizer.” 

The meters in the seed run, including a canola roller, enables the drill to measure out very small rates and small seeds. 

“We had PAMI, Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute, do third party testing on our metering, and it shows with our UltraPro metering we’re as low a s 3.2 percent variance on row to row,” Biglieni said. 

The fertilizer runs in the Ultra SR also use UltraPro meters, which allows precision fertilizer placement an inch and a half to the side and three-quarters of an inch deeper than the seed. 

Two tanks are dedicated to the seed run, at 60 and 240 bu., and two tanks are dedicated to the fertilizer furrow, at 325 and 110 bu.

The Raven Viper 4 is the standard monitor that comes with the Ultra SR, which can control variable rate applications of up to four products, as well as toolbar operations such as setting shank down pressure to adjust to soil conditions.

“We do have individual load cells on each tank on this unit, so you have live, on-the-go weights on this tank, and that also then gives you the ability to have calibrations on the go,” Biglieni said.

SeedMaster decided to use large steel drums as gauge wheels on the outside of the toolbar to help achieve a tight fold for transport and to prevent soil ridges on the field.  

“We’re able to control the physical diameter and side, spread that weight out over a couple furrows, and even create a pitch to it which reduces soil ridging conditions in tight turns,” Biglieni said. 

In terms of productivity, he said the machine could easily achieve the 100-acre per foot rule, which means at 60 feet it can plant at least 6,000 acres in a season. 

“Because it’s a single rank and we’re not having soil throw to other ranks, depending on seed depths and soil conditions, we can safely say you can increase your seeding speed, whether that be up to six m.p.h., six and a half, based on soil conditions,” Biglieni said. 

The rear axle adjusts its height on the go while seeding to compensate for potential tire squat when the unit is full of seed and product. 

“Or if we’re going through a low spot in a valley or a hilltop, we’re going to maintain the ideal frame height on that single rank so the ratio or geometry is not affecting seed placement,” Biglieni said.

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