Arable and root crop equipment always have a strong presence at the SIMA show, and this year’s event was no exception, with several developments. Alex Heath and James Rickard report.
Famous French manufacturer Sulky used is home show to premier two new pneumatic combination drill ranges; the Master and Progress.
For those wanting a simple to use, cost effective drill, the Master is available as a three metre working width machine, fitted with a power harrow rated to 160hp. Two seeding bars are available including single disc coulters capable of exerting a ground pressure of 30kg, and Suffolk coulter types, able to apply up to 20kg of pressure.
A full width frame offers improved rigidity, while also allowing good sightlines to the coulters. Hopper size is 1,250 litres, and all calibration can be done from the rear of the machine.
For something with increased agronomic versatility in mind, the Progress has been designed to apply up to three products at one. Able to specify up to three hoppers, each with its own metering unit, the Progress is capable of drilling companion crops, multi-species catch crops and grain and fertiliser, for example.
Fully IsoBus compatible, it can also be controlled by an iPad via a WiFi module, allowing full external calibration of the machine. All products are fed down the same seeding tubes, with an electronically controlled distribution head able to adapt to any tramline spacing. Blockage sensors are an option and vari-rate seeding is possible.
Progress is available in three, 3.5 and four metre fixed working widths, with the ability to switch out the power harrow for a set of disc harrows. Three coulter types are available; double disc coulters, large single disc or Suffolk.
Eventually, both new drills will replace the Xeos range, with full availability from 2020.
Targeting the growing conservation agriculture sector but with the versatility for wider applications, Kuhn’s new Aurock is launched in a six-metre format and will be available from the summer of 2019. With either single or dual metering options, it enables dual cropping or sowing one row in two with independently managed sowing depths.
Two versions of the drill will be available; R models featuring a one-piece hopper, and RC versions which get a split hopper. Up-front, an optional crop cutter roller can be specified to handle cover crops. Following this is a set of straight cutting discs, which can also be swapped out for a set of ‘wavy’ discs for soil mixing. Behind this, either a lift axle or a full with tyre packer roller can be specified – the latter features off-set wheels to prevent bulldozing, making the drill easier to pull – says the manufacturer. Finally, two rows of parallelogram-mounted double-disc seeding coulters bring up the rear.
RC models feature two metering units and two distribution heads offering the ability to establish/apply multiple products to multiple placements at once. A third micro-granule hopper can be specified to apply a third product.
Refining its Easy Drill zero-tillage disc drills, French company Sky has made several changes to its coulters.
Primary changes see the move to a more streamlined seed coulter, enabling it to work in heavy trash conditions, but move as little soil as possible. On top of this, its adjustment is now easier, enabling users to better adapt the coulter to the wear rate of its accompanying disc. Adjustment of the distance between the coulter and coulter disc is also now simpler, says the manufacturer.
Seed tube has been improved too. Now straighter, air flow is said to be improved with reduced seed bounce for more accurate placement. Working backwards, press wheels are now fitted with maintenance free hubs – the only greasing now is to the headstock and lift axle.
Overall, fewer parts are now used throughout the construction of each seeding unit, with a new type of metal used which ‘springs’ back into shape should it hit an obstacle.
Adding to its range of cultivation equipment, Quivogne introduced a machine designed to decimate cover crops and mulch stalky stubbles such as OSR and maize.
The Gladiator combines a knife roller with a row of straight cutting discs, to provide chopping actions in two directions.
Its dual three-point linkage allows it to be used at the front or rear of the tractor, with recommended working speeds between 11-18kph. When front mounted, it can be used with a complimentary disc harrow, for example. Working depth is down to about 6cm.
Four working widths are available; three, 4.5, five and six metres – the three latter are hydraulically foldable.
Occupying a rather large proportion of Kockerling’s stand was the largest set of disc harrows the firm has ever produced. With a working width of 12.5m, the Rebel machine is split into five sections, vertically folding in on itself for transport.
Disc units are the same as the rest of the firm’s disc harrow range, featuring 515mm discs and maintenance-free, sealed hubs. Depth control is via six leading wheels and the rear roller. The latter is a double soil to soil ‘U’ profile roller type.
Air or hydraulic brakes can be specified and it requires about a minimum of 360hp to pull. Available now, the machine retails at about €130,000.
Able to be specified with a three-way split hopper, Horsch showed the new option which can be specified on its range of Avatar zero-till, disc drills.
The 3,800 litre tank is split 30:10:60, allowing multiple products to be sown at once. Thanks to three metering units and two distribution heads, one product can be sent to the first row of disc coulters and one product to the rear row. This enables the drilling of companion crops, multi-species catch crops and grain and fertiliser, for example.
The new option is available on Avatar drills from three to 12m, costing approximately €9,000.
Adding to its family of Cirrus cultivator drills, currently comprising seed only and seed and fertiliser versions, Amazone introduced a third type at the show.
Stand out development of the new Cirrus CC is an intermediate row of single disc seeding coulters, positioned between the cultivating discs and the rear packer. Fed via a separate metering system and distribution head, it allows various seeding regimes to be catered for. This could simply see fertiliser fed to the intermediate row of discs and seed to the main coulters, fert to the intermediate row and fert and seed to the main coulters, or a companion crop established with the intermediate coulters and the main crop with the rear coulters, for example. On top of this, the firm’s 500 litre Green Drill can be added to apply a catch crop.
Working depth of the intermediate coulters is between 5-10cm, which are also positioned in between the seed rows of the main coulters, allowing various placement opportunities compared to the 1-6cm working depth of the rear coulters. Total hopper capacity is 4,000 litres, split 60:40. Working widths are currently four and six metres.
Due to eventually replace its current Omega 6000F drill, Bednar showed its brand new Omega 6000FL cultivator drill at the show.
Lighter and easier to pull, other updates include the use of plastic hoppers, totalling 5,000 litres with a 60:40 split. A further 400 litre hopper can also be specified.
Designed to create a finer tilth, smaller 460mm diameter cultivating discs are used, achieving a higher rotation speed. Front tool options include levelling boards or press wheels, or the ability to fit both.
Via three metering units and two main distribution heads, one for each hopper, various seeding practices can be met, says the manufacturer. In addition, a fixed row of seeding coulters positioned behind the cultivating element allows product to be placed in multiple positions.
Eventually, models will range from three to nine metres, with a decent-specced 6m machine costing about €100,000.
Increasing the versatility of its trailed precision planters, Vaderstad has applied the same adjustable row-width concept from its mounted Tempo V machines to its new Tempo L models.
Designed to adapt to a wider variety of crops, of particular interest are the eight-row Tempo 8L and 12-row 12L models. Both share a six metre toolbar, onto which the seeding units are bolted. By spacing out or moving the units closer together, row spacing can be altered; from 700-800mm on the 8L and 450-508mm on the 12L.
In addition, by removing seeding units from the 12L, you could effectively have one machine catering to row spacings from 450-800mm. the latter is an interesting prospect if you want to plant OSR and maize with the same machine, says the manufacturer.
Also new to the Tempo L family is the 18-row 18L model (pictured), with all three new machines sharing the same 3,000 litre fertiliser hopper – an optional 5,000 litre hopper can be fitted to the 18L.
Canadian firm MacDon showed several updates to its range of 1 Series flex draper combine headers. Its first flex draper was launched in the late 90s, with the latest developments now said to be finding favour with European users.
Particular attention has been paid as to how the headers handle bulky, bushy crops such as OSR. This is facilitated by the use of three new individual hydraulic pumps taking care of drive to the various elements of the header. This, says the manufacturer, has improved the capacity of the header boosting productivity and efficiency. As such, MacDon says the header will handle a much wider variety of crops now.
To flex, the header is split into three sections. Benefits of this concept compared to fully flexing headers is that the real, mounted at either end and centrally, remains closer to the cutterbar at all times. This also allows the draper belt seal to be tighter, avoiding ingress of debris and crop losses.
Other new features include reel sensor height, which can be tied into a combine’s height control system, and improved access to the ends of the header and divider latches. The new 1 Series flex draper headers are available from 9.1-13.7m, with the largest retailing for about €110,000.
Amazone’s latest generation of Pantera self-propelled sprayers, now Stage 5 emissions-complaint via a 218hp Deutz engine, feature several updates, not least the introduction of a new boom guidance option.
Via six radar sensors positioned along the boom, the new Contour Control system is said to offer very fast automatic adjustment to both the boom’s working height and independent control over each of its wings, both negative and positive angles. This allows for more precise product placement, says the manufacturer, permitting faster forward speeds and the ability to run the boom below a 50cm working height.
In addition, this can be combined with the firm’s Swing Stop feature which, using accelerometer sensors poisoned at either end of the boom, prevents any excessive fore and aft movement of the booms, countered against via hydraulic rams.
Pantera’s can also now be fitted with Amazone’s L3 Super Boom, offering 30 per cent faster folding via three sections per side, able to be done on the move.
Finnish firm Kivi-Pekka has updated its range of stone pickers - the largest model can now collect seven metres per pass.
Each wing features a rotating rake, sorting and gathering stones into a windrow. The machine’s ‘Flex Drum’ in the chassis of the machine then lifts the stones, up to 500mm in diameter, off the ground before dumping them into its hopper. The company claim work rates of 1,400kg per minute are achievable, with a maximum working speed of 6kph.
The machine’s hopper holds 3cu.m of stones, tipping at a height of 2.9 metres. As little as 100hp is needed to run it, however, fully laden a good deal more will be needed to handle the weight.
Presented for the first time in France was the Grimme Ventor 4150, the company’s latest product for large scale potato harvesting.
The four row machine is powered by a Mercedes-Benz engine, developing 530hp. Weighing 30 tonnes unladen, it has a 15 tonne bunker. To negate soil damage when working, the machine runs in a crab mode. The machine uses two of the company’s SE systems for separation, splitting the intake between the two beds.
Novel features include a set of knives in the centre of the intake web to stop haulm bridging. Folding all the separation system and bunker take its road width down to 3.5 metres.
Kverneland has increased the level of sophistication on its Turbo cultivators. IsoBus controlled, all hydraulic functions are taken care of including raise and lower, folding, depth control and levelling.
To ensure the tractor always has a consistent draft, a sensor on the drawbar adjusts the pressure put on the tractor, with the machine’s levelling ram. This function also ensures the cultivator does not pull itself too deep, especially on a second pass.
A new packer system is also available, called the ActiPress, which uses two rows of 560mm U channel rings, which fill up for soil to soil contact. A new leg is also available, designed for working deeper, called the TriFlex 400, which uses a leaf spring reset system and knock on points.
Belgian potato equipment specialists AVR has a new trailed harvester, based on the company’s Puma self-propelled machine.
First shown at InterPom at the end of 2018, the Lynx shares many of its technologies and components with the self-propelled machine, with the company claiming comparable efficiency. Key to its design is its ability to run inline or offset, allowing wider tyres to be used, without damaging ridges.
Multiple separation and cleaning options include pintle webs, axial rollers and cross rollers. The cart elevator has been upgraded to 950mm, to allow for more capacity, with its pockets becoming deeper and taller.