There are quite a lot of innovations in the single grain seed drill sector of the Maestro line. Michael Braun and Thomas Murr from the HORSCH product marketing department have summarised the main characteristics.
The most important feature for single grain seed drills is versatility – not only with regard to the size of the seed. Depending on the region and the crop the row spacing differs, too. To meet the requirements of the farmers, HORSCH has refreshed the Maestro family with the product lines CV and RV as well as CX and RX.
terraHORSCH: Mr Braun, what does the letter V respectively X stand for with regard to the new Maestro lines?
Michael Braun: We use two different metering systems. The CV and RV lines are equipped with the well-known AirVac metering device that works according to the vacuum principle. For the CX and RX lines, the new AirSpeed overpressure metering device will be used.
terraHORSCH: How does the customer benefit from the two different systems?
Thomas Murr: Our machines work in the most different countries, under the most different conditions and they have to cope with all seed sizes. Depending on the conditions and the requirements both systems have their advantages. Vacuum systems are very flexible with regard to the seed size. They are ideal for rape and bean seeds and even for exotic crops like hemp. Overpressure systems excel when it comes to high efficiency, that is operational speed: lots of hectare in a short time. But there can be restrictions, e.g. by the catching rollers in the row to make sure that the grains do not bounce. There are limitations of use in wet, sticky soils, the sowing window gets tighter. Finally, we want to provide optimum advice to our customers to supply them with a seed drill that is optimally adapted to their conditions.
terraHORSCH: Are there regions in the world where one system fits better than the other?
Michael Braun: There is no general answer to this question. I am rather sure that both systems will work in almost all markets. It depends on the focus of the customer. Our task will be to find out together what is be the best solution for each customer. In any case, we will soon have both systems ready for the export markets.
terraHORSCH: Which operational speeds are possible?
Michael Braun: For the AirSpeed metering devices 15 km/h is a realistic top speed, for the AirVac metering devices it is 10 km/h. But I think it is more important to guarantee a high sowing quality than to sow as fast as possible. Quality in this case does not only refer to longitudinal distribution, but also to meticulous embedding and regular depth placement. The operational speed largely depends on how the seedbed has been prepared. And if the humidity fits in, too, you can make full use of the efficiency of the seed drill.
terraHORSCH: With all the differences of the systems – do they also have something in common?
Thomas Murr: The design of both metering devices is very similar. From the outside you can see that there is a hose leading from the vacuum metering device and that the overpressure metering device is equipped with a hood. The inside of the housing is almost identical. The grain is sucked into the hole or with overpressure. The singulators of the new single grain system work completely mechanically for all crops to avoid doubles and do not have to be adjusted. The grain then is taken into the fall or shot tube and then into the seed furrow. The supply has to be regulated and the overpressure or the vacuum has to be adjusted. One condition, of course, is the correct metering disc that corresponds to the grain size. An ejection wheel cleans the hole for example in case of pollution or broken grains to avoid incorrect placement. By the way, our metering discs are made of plastic. The advantages of plastic are the increased freedom of form for the design, a lower weight and a lower price. Thus, the farmer can purchase different discs for different seeds at manageable costs.
Michael Braun: The metering devices are mostly low-wear and only low driving forces are required. Up to a number of eight row we do not even need an additional connection for power supply. The electronics allow for an individual row shut-off, SectionControl, VariableRate and a tramline control. But that is the well-proven, standard HORSCH technology.
terraHORSCH: What is the difference between the new single grain seed drills and their predecessor models? Which versions will be available? And when?
Michael Braun: Our new price list was published on the 1st of October. It includes a mounted Maestro RV and a trailed CV as successors of the successful models CC and RC. Sales for CV and RV have already started, the machines will be delivered in early spring. With regard to machines with the new overpressure metering device we will build a limited number of a 3-point and a trailed pre-series model. Primarily we want to use these machines to advance optimisations and carry out demonstrations.
Thomas Murr: We designed a lot of new equipment options and changed some details. First of all, I want to mention the flexible fixing of the seed bodies that allows for varying the number of rows and the spacing. The connection to the main frame is a clamping profile to be able to change the number of rows from 12 to 8 easily and in an uncomplicated way. This was an important customer requirement. For the Maestro RV and RX, we kept up the principle of one seed tank per row. Fertiliser is supplied via a front tank, e.g. the HORSCH Partner 2000 FT. This is the most significant difference to the Maestro CV and CX. As before, they are available with one seed tank per row, but now they can also be equipped with a central hopper for fertiliser and seed as we know it from the large Maestro SW. This technology is called MTS – Main Tank Supply. The capacity of the central tanks is 3,000 l for fertiliser and 800 l for seed. If the central hopper is only used for fertiliser, the capacity amounts to 3,000 l and 70 l seed per row. Beside an 8- and 12-row version the Maestro CV will also be available in a 9-row version. In this case the sowing section is offset towards the middle. So if you work with a 2.10 m or a 2.25 m track you no longer have to drive over the rows.
I think that especially the 9-row version will become a very interesting machine, especially in markets with a 70/75 cm row spacing. The only impediment might be that grain maize then would have to be threshed in 9 rows. But it is an option to generate additional yield. The requirement came from France and parts of Germany. The system is already known there. Another new feature of the Maestros CV is that the seed drill can be folded forward to rest on the seed hopper. This guarantees a reliable vertical load and a smooth running on the road even if the fertiliser hopper is empty. For markets outside Europe, the DV model will be available as of 2020. The requirements on the tractor are low – what is particularly important for customers in Russia and the Ukraine. There will be an 8-row version with different row spacings: 70 cm, 75 cm and 30‘‘. The basic version of the DV will be equipped with mechanical coulter pressure and a single fertiliser hopper. Options like AutoForce, double hopper for fertiliser and filling auger are part of the comprehensive equipment list. What all lines and variants have in common is the fertiliser placement. The nutrients are applied via a single disc coulter with a separate depth control which is particularly advantageous on heavy cohesive soil. A double disc fertiliser coulter will be available as of 2020/2021.