IT'S called a seeding rig, but not as you know it.
That could be the marketing signature for CLAAS Harvest Centre's Seed Hawk, which is being promoted as an integral precision seeding bar and air seeder boasting a host of technological features.
In fact, a walk-around the rig last week with CLAAS Harvest Centre Northam branch manager James Moss pointing out the features, took more than an hour.
"The bar has several unique features," Mr Moss said.
"It is equipped with section control but unlike other bars, you can lift the three metre frame sections out of the ground as GPS co-ordinates are triggered and seed and fertiliser is cut off.
"This prevents further cultivation of seeded sections.
"The sections return to working status once the bar passes over the overlap area.
"The ground-following characteristics of the entire seeding rig are quite unique, links with the identical action of the seeding modules and no other bar can do that - the wing circuits operate off the same continuous flow hydraulic circuit as the openers, but with a separate relief valve, the entire bar can flex up and down to follow contours even on seven section machines.
"This flexibility, along with each opener having its own hydraulic ram, allows the Seed Hawk to follow even the steepest of contours.
"Hydraulic down pressure is maintained the same on each section all of the time irrespective of contours.
"Plus you have on-the-go variable pressure when going over different soil types or around corners," Mr Moss said.
The heart of the Seed Hawk seeder is the individually mounted opener assemblies which have been designed for offset placement of seed and fertiliser, with cereal seed, for example, placed at a depth of 37 millimetres and fertiliser at 125mm, although adjustable settings can be made to change those depths.
According to Seed Hawk, this creates a barrier between the seed and fertiliser, preventing fertiliser burn while allowing the seed early access to nutrients.
The seed is placed on firm, moist soil so the radicle has immediate and continued access to moisture.
The fine tilth beside the seed allows other roots to develop and rapidly branch out towards the banded fertiliser to aid germination.
The large trailing opener is pulled down into work by its own hydraulic ram creating up to 1200psi, which gives about 160 kilograms trip force and packing pressure.
The opener design has two major pivot points which are fitted with hardened steel bushes and composite wear pads to minimise wear and lateral movement, while the constant oil pressure in the system means that each shank can break-out if it hits an obstacle without affecting the depth and pressure on the remaining openers.
The opener assemblies follow the ground independently by pivoting at the frame.
With a contour-following depth range of up to 20 centimetres, each independent opener delivers consistent seed depth, regardless of the terrain.
The press wheel is wider than the operating area of the two knives.
This allows it to ride on undisturbed soil and maintain depth in a variety of conditions.
But perhaps the biggest focus by farmers will be the iCon wireless system.
The iPad-based iCon control system simplifies calibration and operation of the machine and calibration can be done outside the tractor cab using an iPad or iPhone (with an app).
This includes troubleshooting for blockages, filling the tanks to the appropriate level, or using the meters to empty the air cart.
The iCon software also features 'hectares to empty' to calculate how many hectares in the bin before re-filling, which is a desired feature when running multiple seeding rigs in the same paddock.
Load cells weigh each bin separately and provide real-time verification of remaining product.
The bar also comes with standard wireless seed and fertiliser blockage monitors, which operate off acoustic sound and can be adjusted to suit product.
Incorporated into iCon control is the Fenix III metering system which allows for precise delivery of seed and fertiliser.
According to Seed Hawk, the Fenix III allows you to isolate the airstream for each product across all toolbar sections, enabling variable rate seeding.
Heavy-duty electric motors, in conjunction with application-specific rollers, allows up to eight modular electric drive meters on a tank.
The design of the Fenix III meter, where the roller is placed directly on the electric motor axle, makes it an easy-to-use system.
With only a few moving parts and no grease points, maintenance is simple. Changing rollers between crops is performed in a matter of seconds.
Apart from four tanks on the Seed Hawk Air Carts, there is the option to add a liquid system.