Horsch introduces new seeding concept

03 Apr, 2017 02:00 AM

TARGETED loosening, targeted fertilisation and targeted sowing.

That's the benefits German manufacturer Horsch is making to farmers as it introduces its new Focus TD strip-till seeder to the Australian market.

Last week Horsch distributor Muddy River started what it called, "proof of concept" trials at Tammin and next month at Esperance, with a view to commercial sales next year.

The concept is simple and appealing.

In one pass, deep rip first, with adjustable fertiliser placement, employ adjustable following discs to mound or level soil, then firm the soil with lug tyres and sow with double disc openers, or in Horsch's case, Turbo Disc coulters.

The big carrot is also employing an optional singulator, which will change the way you think about sowing cereals and canola.

The Horsch singulator is an electrically-driven module that eliminates the need for conventional vacuum-style planters.

According to Horsch, the singulator will enable broadacre farmers to singulate wheat and canola with a dispensing rate of up to over 100 seeds per second.

It puts the "precision" into precision seeding, with canola seeding rates, for example, set as low as 300 grams a hectare.

At Tammin, the seeder was calibrated at 20 seeds per square metre, effectively 800 grams a hectare - an appealing figure when you're dispensing expensive hybrid seed.

The first section comprises two rows of spring breakout Terragrip tines, which can dig to 40cm (16in) with a breakout pressure of 800kg.

The draft and trash-friendly Terragrip tines are equipped with low disturbance points or ultra-low low disturbance points which provide soil-loosening below the seed bed.

An adjustable fertiliser boot provides three options for fertiliser placement - all of the fertiliser at the bottom of the trench, all at the top, or a 50-50 split of top and bottom.

The tine also can carry a tube for the introduction of, for example, liquid lime for mid or deep placement.

Levelling discs can be adjusted to mound or level the soil in front of the second section which comprises a gang of lug tyres with each tyre in line with a tine to consolidate soil in front of the Turbo Disc coulters, which comprise the third section.

This is a three point linkage attachment and each Turbo Disc coulter comes with an integrated press wheel for depth control and general firming of the soil with a pressure up to 120kg.

The optional singulator is mounted on each disc module with a "catch wheel" positioned between the discs and the press wheel to instantly press each seed into the soil as it is delivered from the singulator, via a chute.

The press wheel then ensures firm seed-soil contact.

The 3PL design of the Turbo Disc coulters means they can be replaced with a conventional vacuum-style planter, such as Horsch's Maestro RC seed unit bar.

The Focus TD will give WA farmers plenty of think about, especially for canola establishment but it is highly likely, more trials will be needed to convince the mainstream that the Horsch concept is the future of crop establishment in broadacre farming.

Ken Wilson

Ken Wilson

is Farm Weekly's machinery writer


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