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New options: Maestro SV and SX

The Maestro SX and SV replace the Maestro SW. Thomas Murr (Sales Support - Planting) and Michael Bindl (PU Planting - Product Management) tell us about one of the largest and most efficient single seed drills ever.

The requirements on modern single grain seed drills are very complex all over the world. Because of the immense regional differences with regard to climate, soil as well as field and farm structures the basic working conditions for the machines are completely different on all continents. The result is that no other HORSCH machine has to be this versatile and customisable as the Maestro.
The farmers also express more and more wishes and demand equipment options that now have been included in the new generation of the Maestro SV and SX. The differentiation between SV and SX is based on the different functioning of the two metering systems. The systems have already been described in detail in the last issue of terraHORSCH in the article about the Maestro CV and CX. Both systems AirVac (V) and AirSpeed (X) do not use a conventional scraper to avoid double seeds but a singulator that can universally be used for all crops and that does not require any additional adjustment. This was a big step towards a simpler and more reliable handling of the technology. With the AirVac system the grains fall through the fall tube to the ground after they have been singulated. They then are caught by the catching roller and embedded. With the shooting system AirSpeed the grains are caught by an air current and shot with high speed through the shoot pipe into the seed furrow, they are caught and embedded. Both systems have their advantages in different conditions which are described by Philipp Horsch in his field report.

Depending on the working width and on the number of rows two different seed wagons are available for the Maestro SV and SX. Both seed wagons are equipped with a central fertiliser and seed supply system. The fertiliser is applied with the well-proven HORSCH metering technology and transported and distributed pneumatically at the rows. The central hopper transports the seed individually and as required to the rows by means of the MTS system (Main Tank Supply system) where the seed then is available. The advantages of this system are the faster and simpler filling of the machine with seed and due to SectionControl and tramline control an irregular emptying of individual rows is avoided. But in the future the topic of small seed tanks directly at the row will become important again. These small tanks are mounted in combination with the MTS system. Depending on the crop and the seed size you can either work with the central hopper or with the small row tanks. Large-grain seeds like maize, sunflowers or beans are traditionally metered with the MTS system whereas small seeds like rape or sugar beets can be filled directly into the row tanks. For these crops the large capacity of 2,000 litres of the central hopper is not required. Moreover, it is not possible to buy the seed in large bulk units so from a logistic point of view it often is easier to fill one seed unit directly into the row tank. The small row tanks will already be tested in spring 2021 on the first SV and SX models. A retrofit kit will be available for existing machines with MTS system. In this case, the row tank will be mounted instead of the black cover hood of the metering unit. The combination of a central seed supply and small row containers has not been available in Europe so far.

Different seed wagons

Not only with regard to the seed supply but also with regard to the hopper capacities the focus is on a universal suitability for all crops and on a simple, reliable handling without having to carry out any modifications. Thus, for the MTS system we do no longer install the pneumatic metering sluice of the Maestro SW line. For the SV and SX we now use new plastic distributor sluices. This increases the operational reliability of the system even for irregular shaped seeds like maize or for very large seeds with a high thousand-seed weight like beans considerably. The system can also do without the special sieve that is required for fine seeds and it does no longer have to be inserted into the box. This led to a significant simplification and a more reliable functioning of the system for different crops and different seed qualities.
There are other innovations with regard to the size of the seed wagons. The seed wagons of the machines with a working width up to 18 m like the Maestro 24.75 SV/SX or 36.50 SV are based on the well-known seed wagon of the Maestro SW. For season 2021 the machines can be ordered with two different partitions: the traditional partition of the 9,000 litres to a capacity of 7,000 litres for fertiliser and 2,000 litres for seed is recommended for sowing the typical crops like maize and sunflowers. Due to the partition of 5,000 litres of fertiliser and 4,000 litres of seed the reach of the machine when sowing for example large-grain legumes with high sowing densities like soya or field beans can be increased significantly. This hopper option is also interesting for farms that only want to apply a little amount of fertiliser directly at the grains in the seed furrow. In this case the machine is ordered without separate fertiliser coulters. The fertiliser is applied via a contact fertiliser unit with an air separator directly into the seed furrow. Here the young, developing plant can take it up very quickly. In the long run this version of the hopper partition is to be included in all machines of the SV and SX lines.

The seed drills with a working width of 12 m and a maximum of 24 rows are built with a newly designed seed wagon. The capacity was adapted to the working width. The whole hopper capacity amounts to about 8,000 litres, divided into a capacity of approximately 6,000 litres for fertiliser and 2,000 litres for seed.
The machine is available for markets where a maximum transport width of 3 m is not statutory, with an axle that can be fixed mechanically so that the tyres always run between the seed rows. For European markets where the transport width of 3 m is mandatory the Maestro can be configured with a hydraulically adjustable axle to avoid running over the rows in working position and to be able to comply with the machine width of 3 m on the road. The machine can also be equipped with twin tyres to avoid running over the seed rows even in case of row spacings of 45 or 50 cm. Even with this tyre option the HORSCH Maestro with hydraulic slide axle still is below the transport width of 3 m and can be licensed.

Automatic coulter pressure adaption

So the HORSCH Maestro SV and SX line still remains the largest universal single grain seed drill line in Europe. The mere size of the machine, of course, involves a certain basic weight. This weight, however, does not rest permanently on the tyres. Due to the kinematics and the hydraulics of the machine the weight of the seed wagon is transferred to the frame with the seed rows. The result is a coulter pressure of 150 to a maximum of 350 kg per row which is evenly distributed as far as the outer row. This is also possible for the 24- or 36-row machines. Due to the specifically developed AutoForce system the coulter pressure is adapted automatically as and when required on the basis of the soil conditions. The active automatic regulation of the coulter pressure guarantees that the grains are perfectly embedded at the desired placement depth and at the same time avoids harmful soil compaction caused by excessive coulter pressure. This is essential for a regular emergence, a good root development and a homogeneous population. Only some details of the coulter body itself were changed. The design of the rows still is very stable and absolutely solid. Particular importance was attached to the long service life of the components and to the ease of maintenance.
HorschConnect is another innovation that in the future can be implemented in the Maestros. By means of telemetry you can comfortably access important machine data in real time. The application rate of fertiliser and seed, the position of the machine or the current singulation accuracy can, thus, be monitored from the office. The first Maestros with HorschConnect will already work in the field in the next season. Read about the experiences of the Ukrainian large farm Kernel.
What are future development steps? The use of liquid fertiliser which already prevails in the US is becoming more and more important in other regions of the world, too. This is why in the future the demand for Maestros with liquid fertiliser equipment will increase. Currently the Maestro 24.75 SV liquid can be ordered as a pre-series machine. In the years to come further models with smaller working widths will be launched as a liquid fertiliser version.
Finally, in the past season we built the first Maestro with a SplitRow row layout and used them in the Ukraine for sowing rape. These Maestros work with a traditional row spacing of 70 or 75 cm. But you also can sow with a row spacing that is divided in half – i.e. 35 respectively 37.5 cm. Thus, the machine is even more universal if for example because of the existing harvest technology maize has to be sown with a row spacing of 75 cm but soya, beans and pea varieties are to be sown with a narrower row spacing because the corresponding harvest technology that does not depend on rows. Rape and sunflowers, too, can be sown with half the row spacing. This SplitRow Maestro with 12 m working width allows for sowing with 16 rows and a row spacing of 75 cm or with all 31 rows and a row spacing of 37.5 cm. Step by step smaller machines will be launched.

Find more information about the new row unit that is installed in all Maestro machines.

Learn more about the two new metering systems AirVac and AirSpeed.