The Gentle Giant: Novag T-ForcePlus 950

Article written by Novag SAS

With the new T-ForcePlus 950, Novag has succeeded in solving the conflict of objectives between high productivity, minimum ground pressure and high coulter pressure for no-till. The result is a powerful flagship that is gentle on the ground thanks to its tracked undercarriage and can also be flexibly ballasted depending on the soil type.

With up to 48 coulters (18.75cm row spacing) and working speeds of up to 12km/h, the 9m machine achieves outputs of almost 10ha/h.

New dimensions

For the new Novag T-ForcePlus 950, the frame has been reinforced and is now double foldable. This gives the 9m machine transport dimensions of 3m width and 3.95m height. When folded out, two additional wheels support the frame in the outer area and distribute the weight evenly across the entire working width. This, in combination with a new tracked undercarriage concept, ensures smooth running on the surface and precision at depth.

The seed/fertiliser tank has been enlarged, redesigned and positioned further forward than on the smaller models. This improves tractor traction and makes the tank more accessible for calibration and filling. The standard tank holds 7,700l and can be divided into 3,650l/4,050l or 5,000l/2,700l as required thanks to a flexible centre wall. Optionally, two additional tanks of 350l each are available for further seeds and granules. The additional volume can be added to the rear main tank if required.

The Novag T-ForcePlus 950 is 9.5m long and weighs 18t when empty with a row spacing of 25cm or 36 coulters. Each coulter requires an average of 10hp traction power. The smallest possible row spacing with 48 coulters is 18.75cm, so that the new Novag T-ForcePlus 950 requires a pulling force of 360hp or more.

Flexible use

For a no-till machine of these dimensions, the Novag T-ForcePlus 950 is relatively compact thanks to the intelligent frame concept. As a result, it performs very well even in prepared soils, such as those found on many farms that are still in the process of conversion. If, on the other hand, you are working consistently in a no-till system, the soil is firm and requires high coulter pressures. In this case, the Novag T-ForcePlus 950 can be ballasted up to 6,400kg if required.

New tracked undercarriage

When fully ballasted, it can reach a total weight of up to 26t with 48 coulters and a full tank. In order to distribute this load as gently as possible to the soil, the new no-till machine has been given a robust track with a very flat stud profile and a contact area of 2 x 1.3mĀ², which does not damage the soil even during turning manoeuvres thanks to a special suspension system. The innovative suspension concept reacts flexibly to the load by changing the tension of the treads. “For European markets, we will also offer the caterpillar undercarriage with a brake system in the future,” Ramzi Frikha emphasises.

Reinforced seed metering

Despite the large working width and high working speed, the tracks and support wheels guide the seed bar evenly and smoothly over the ground. For precise seed placement, especially of heavy seeds such as beans or peas, a powerful seed metering and distribution system is required at the same time. Air flow, distribution and piping systems have been adapted accordingly. The Novag T-ForcePlus 950 has a double fan system with telescopic distributor heads that improve the seed flow.

Unique coulter system

At the heart of the new 9m model, as with all other Novag direct seed drills, is the unique Novag T-SlotPlus coulter system with IntelliForcePlus automatic coulter pressure control. It ensures precise seed placement in the soil without moving it significantly. 90% of the soil cover remains undisturbed during sowing. The specially shaped sowing coulter cuts an inverted “T” into the soil. A notched disc cuts the outcrop or stubble and opens the soil. Two separate sowing boots are located on the cutting disc to clear the seed furrow. They each have an outlet through which either seed or fertiliser can be placed at the optimum distance from each other. The T-shape of the sowing boot and the slanted press wheels guarantee an optimally closed seed slot. This means that the deposited seed is always in contact with the ground, even in dry conditions. The sowing depth can be individually adjusted from 1 to 10cm on all implements and the sowing coulters are prepared ex works for liquid applications (fertiliser, compost extract, enzymes, etc.).

Simple operation

Thanks to the high coulter pressure of up to 500kg per seed coulter, the Novag T-SlotPlus coulter system always guarantees optimum seed placement even in difficult no-till conditions with heavy biomass growth and hard soil. Likewise, the IntelliForcePlus automatic coulter pressure control always delivers top working results, even for inexperienced operators. Additionally, all Novag direct seed drills are now Isobus-prepared at the customer’s request, so that machine functions such as application maps for site-specific sowing can be conveniently controlled via the tractor terminal.

Reducing machine and labour costs

Six years of development work have gone into the Agritechnica model. “We are now also offering our 8m model, the Novag T-ForcePlus 850, on this new platform and are already working on a 10m machine, a Novag T-ForcePlus 950X. In this way, we are also giving larger arable farms access to the ecological and economic benefits of no-till. All our customers, regardless of farm size, benefit from significantly lower machinery and labour costs, whilst simultaneously saving water and improving their soil quality,” reveals Ramzi Frikha.

See them in the drill arena for Direct Driller @Cereals 11th & 12th June, Bygrave Woods, Newnham Farm, Herts.