Speed offsets size in new disc drill

Growers place more importance on precision than size when seeding high-value crops that require precise placement

LANGHAM, Sask. — Speed and seed placement are more important than size when selecting a disc drill. Amazone attended this summer’s Ag In Motion farm show to promote that idea, debuting its new Cirrus 4003 drill.

The German-built drills are available as one hopper or two hopper units with a capacity of 102 bushels, says Amazone rep Kristoff Peters of Banga’s Equipment in Taber, Alta. The display drill was a 13 foot unit.

While that may seem pretty small by prairie standards, Peters says European style disc drills typically seed about twice as fast as conventional North American drills. Drills like this are used when seeding high value crops that demand precise placement.

“It is high speed. We seed at 20 km-h, so that’s over 12 m.p.h.,” said Peters, who is well aware of the concern that seed placement can be an issue at that speed.

“The wide orange wheel is the guide wheel for depth control. There’s also a ground speed radar sensor at the front of the drill.”

He said that to manage seed bounce, the controller matches the speed of the seed coming down the opener to the ground speed of the drill. When you match those two speeds, you eliminate seed bounce. The front of the machine has tractor track eradicators to loosen soil directly behind the tractor tires. The seeding coulters follow behind specially designed reconsolidation tires, running in the defined strips. A hydraulically actuated soil-levelling crush-board bar can be mounted either in front of or behind the discs. A rubber suspension protects the arm. The drill is available with either a double disc system or a single disc for wet conditions.

Peters said row spacing for the coulter is either five or 6.5 inches.

The electronic metering handles all types of seeds and fertilizer, with rates from 1.4 to 357 pounds per acre. Large diameter metering cassettes maintain a low peripheral speed, thus preventing seed damage even at high rates. Numerous metering cassettes are available for different products. They can be quickly changed even when the hopper is full.

Depending on options, the Cirrus 4003 lists for $90,000 to $95,000. The unit on display at AIM had already been sold and four more have been sold for delivery next spring, mainly to potato growers. A number of the drills have also been sold in Eastern Canada.

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