Drill Manufacturers In Focus…


When it comes to what’s currently trending in crop establishment, the focus is very much on plant nutrition and the targeted application of N & P fertilisers along with the seed to bolster root development and to enable the plant to grow away strongly from pests and diseases. Multi-hopper seeders now offer that flexibility of being able to combine different seed types, add a starter fertiliser or the addition of slug pellets or a micro-granular herbicide simultaneously with the drilling operation. Seeding depth can be split into different zones as well by the addition of a second or third material entry point.

In the area of reduced tillage drilling, three drills stand out strongly in the AMAZONE range, all featuring that multi-hopper format: the Condor direct tine seeder, the Cayena tine seeder and also the Primera DMC. Since the late 1970’s, AMAZONE have pursued their chisel opener philosophy when it comes to reduced tillage seeding systems. After numerous field trials in those early years, Dr. Heinz Dreyer, father of current joint owner of the AMAZONE Group, hit upon his successful formula of running a hard-faced chisel opener to place the seed in the ground rather than using a disc. This avoided crop residues being hairpinned into the seed slot and generated a slight tilth which improved seed/soil contact as well as mineralising some nitrogen in the seed zone to improve plant development. The principle of the NT chisel opener continues today in those Condor, Cayena and Primera drills.

The Con-dor, with three stagger of coulters and a row spacing of 25 cm or 33 cm, makes it ideal for inter-row mechan-ical weed control and comes in working widths of 12.0 and 15.0 m. The Cayena, again with three stagger of coulters, a covering harrow followed by a targeted reconsolidation, is widely renowned for its low horsepower requirement and ability to run in many conditions, is in 6.0 m only whereas the Primera DMC is available in either 3.0 m or 6.0 m widths.

Featuring at Groundswell this year will be the Primera DMC 6000-2C The Primera 6000-2 DMC is more than just a direct drill as does what it says in the name, DMC – direct, mulch, conventional. Huge underbeam clearances, and the openers in banks of four rows, mean that copi-ous amounts of straw and cover crop can pass through the drill without any fear of blockage. Each chisel opener closely follows the ground contours via a parallel linkage – guided by individual hoop rollers behind the coulter with the depth set mechanically on a spindle. The narrowness of the chisel opener means that little soil is disturbed but the seed slot is left clean for good seed / soil contact and the micro-tilth generated by the chisel action can then be pushed back into the groove by the angled hoop rollers following. On the rear, a choice of either the Roller harrow, for light dry conditions or in the spring where moisture conservation is cru-cial, or the wellknown universal Exact harrow, is used to finish off the seedbed profile.

The 4,200 litre split hopper, carried on flotation 700/45 -22.5 tyres with its twin electrically-driven metering systems, can feed both seed and fertiliser down to the coulter. The Primera 6000-2C weighs in at just 6,500 kgs and pulling power is a modest 180 hp for the 6m drill and, due to the little amount of soil-engaging parts and the robust-ness of the construction, the drill suffers from little wear and tear.

New for 2022 is the option of the GreenDrill 501 catch crop seeder box which now can be added to make a third hopper. The GreenDrill can be specified to broadcast seed on the soil surface ahead of the Roller har-row or can apply a third material down the sowing coulter. The electrically-driven metering system is com-bined with the other two hoppers and is controlled via the ISOBUS software and can be run off a third VRA application map. On the headlands the three hoppers can switch off at different times using the unique Multi-boom software.