Sometimes seen as a ‘get out of jail free’ card and a backup to a disc drill, machines equipped with tine coulters offer the same level of specification and functionality and remain a popular choice on farm.
Choosing a new tine drill can be a time-consuming matter, and this year it may be more difficult than usual because of the large number of new, recently introduced or updated models that have arrived to compete with the established favourites. Some of the recent arrivals have new design features for customers to assess, and these may or may not be relevant. An example is including two or sometimes three hoppers for applying both seed and fertiliser, seeds for different crops, or simply providing extra capacity to boost work rates by requiring fewer refill stops.
Trends in the tine drill sector suggest that demand for direct drilling has remained stable and may be increasing, and some of the new arrivals have an emphasis on versatility with the ability to cope with varying levels of seedbed preparation from zero tillage upwards, an important benefit for many contractors. The obvious long-term trend in the tine drill market is increased working width and other output features, and this is continuing in line with the upward trend in tractor power. While wider drills are prominent in the choices available for customers, there have also been developments at the other end of the market, with the arrival of smaller width tine drills for customers who lack the work load or the horsepower to justify a big working width.
Amazone – www.amazone.co.uk
Features shared by the three Amazone tine drill series include metering with full Isobus control compatibility as an option, plus preparation for section controlled mapping and variable rate control for each hopper, and all three have axles braked for safety. Primera direct tine seeders are in 3.0 or 6.0m working widths with 4200 to 5800 litres capacity, row spacing is from 18.75cm and the recommended tractor size is 80hp plus. List prices are from £85,120. Working widths for the Condor drill series are 12 or 15m, both folding to 3.0m for transport, and three hoppers offer flexibility for applying fertiliser and different seeds from 7800 litres capacity. Row spacing is 25cm with ConTec chisel type openers providing minimum disturbance with maximum clearance. Condor list prices are from £164,825. The Cayena tine drill working width is 6.0m with 16.6cm row spacing, and the single hopper capacity is 3600 litres and 4000 litres for the twin hopper option. Prices are from £97,255.
Claydon Drills – www.claydondrill.com
Newest addition to the Claydon drill range is the Evolution series with nine models providing 3.0 to 6.0m working widths. They are designed for direct drilling, but they can also be used after consolidation, following the plough and in min-till sequences, with build strength helping to keep running costs to a minimum. There is also a range of quick-fit equipment options to suit a variety of drilling applications and disturbance levels for versatility and flexibility. The Evolution drill series has many of the Opti-Till crop establishment features that are already familiar on the Claydon Hybrid T range of trailed tine drills offering working widths from 4.0 to 8.0m. Hybrid T specifications include from 13 to 25 tines, hopper capacities are from 3500 to 5500 litres for seed only, and a 60/40 litres seed to fertiliser split is available, minimum tractor power ranges from 200 to 400hp and list prices start at £105,850.
Dale Drills – www.daledrills.com
Low impact cultivation methods benefitting soil structure and fertility improve combinable crop yields on the Dale family’s Lincolnshire farm, and this is achieved by the Dale Eco-XL drills with Eco-Drill tine assemblies. The assemblies have two 12mm width low disturbance tines with adjustment to 12.5 or 25cm row spacing, and a parallel linkage attaches the tine assemblies to the drill chassis. Each tine assembly is followed by a press wheel working independently to increase control of the tine depth, and hydraulic pressure applied to each Eco-Drill assembly helps to achieve the required depth. The pressure is easily adjusted to suit a range of conditions. Benefits claimed for Dale Eco-XL drills include avoiding additional weight needed for disc opener penetration, reducing both soil compaction and the tractor power requirement. Dale Eco-XL drills are made in 8.0 to 13.5m working widths with hydraulic folding to less than 3.0m width for road transport.
Horsch – www.horsch.com
New developments from Horsch include the SL and SC series offering Sprinter features on smaller size drills, with both available for drilling this year. The Sprinter 12.25 SC is trailed and has a 12.0m working width, and the new mounted Sprinter 6.25 SL drills are 6.0m wide, and both fold to 3.0m for transport. The row spacing for both drills is 25cm and the tine coulters fitted on the drills are the newest designs from Horsch, available in three versions with seed band widths of 12, 21 or 110mm. Both drills have hydraulically pre-stressed tines that are retractable and have individual depth control by press wheels. Also new this year are smaller versions of the Horsch Focus TD strip till drill. It is now available with a 3.0m working width and a 3500-litre hopper capacity partitioned to give a 60:40 split, and the MiniDrill version has an additional seed hopper for extra versatility.
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KRM – www.krm-ltd.co.uk
KRM offer a wide range of tine drills to suit all budgets, tramline widths and available horsepower. There are 3 tine coulter options, the “Elite” Tine for traditional plough-based seed beds, the PT coulter for tougher, min-till seedbeds and the SM coulter for direct drilling. Additionally, two types of drill are available, the Ares/SM and the Ares-P/SM-P. The “Electra” metering system fitted to all drills allows the operator to set the desired rate from one single calibration. The system uses the drill’s hydraulic fan to deliver metered seed to a conveniently located container to be weighed, which is then entered into the ISObus control system and the rate set. ISObus can also be used for variable rate drilling, auto on/off, ½ width shut off and sectional control. The pressurised hopper ensures consistent, even seed flow to the metering unit and external distribution heads leave the hopper unobstructed for ease of filling and cleaning.
The SM coulters have been designed for direct drilling, the narrow, Tungsten carbide tine coulters run at an attacking angle to pull the tip in to work. Each coulter creates a tilth as it pulls through the soil and straw and other residues are moved away from the row.
Kuhn Farm Machinery – www.kuhn.co.uk
The Megant 602R is a new arrival from Kuhn, featuring new line coulters, an improved terminal and the option to fit a second hopper allowing two different crops to be sown in one pass, with half-width shut off available. The additional hopper is the SH 112 holding 110 litres to supplement the capacity of the drill’s main hopper. Three types of tine are available for the new Megant, and these are reversible forward action, straight tines plus a new 12mm narrow straight coulter to achieve reduced soil displacement. A new VT30 terminal allows the drill to work on tractors with or without ISOBUS, and the drill’s light weight allows a 150hp minimum power requirement. The standard specification includes Vistaflow valves that can be configured and controlled from the terminal, and also store information about seed rates and wheel track settings for future reference. Megant 602R drills are available for delivery this spring priced from £42,760.
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Kverneland – www.uk.kverneland.com
A special feature of the ts-drill design is providing five rows of seeding tines to achieve increased placement accuracy, particularly in difficult working conditions with large amounts of crop residue. The tines have auto-reset overload protection and can be used at 12.5 or 15cm row spacing. A new tine design, currently under development by Kverneland engineers, will allow the ts-drill to provide single pass seeding direct into stubble. The new tine, which should be available early this summer, will be suitable for low disturbance seeding and will work with the row spacing extended to 16.7cm. The ts-drills are available in four working widths from 4.8 to 6.0m with 1200 litres hopper capacity. They can be equipped for Focus 3 or ISOBUS control, they have road lights and the rear levelling harrow can work with press wheels, and a list price example is £42,442 for a 4.8m version with a popular specification including 32-row seeding.
Maschio – www.opico.co.uk
Maschio equipment is part of the long list of products distributed by Opico, and the Primavera is a folding pneumatic tine drill designed for the lower cost end of the market. A special feature is the metering equipment which is the ‘Flexeed’ cassette type system patented by Maschio and offering simple calibration. Seed rates are controlled by a triple cam stepless gearbox ensuring that the metering shaft operates consistently at the required speed. The Flexeed metering unit can be fitted with up to 7 roller options to suit virtually every type of seed and application rate, with a hydraulic fan managing the pneumatic distribution. The equipment list also includes a communication cable linking the drill’s Genius Master Isotronic system to the tractor’s Isobus terminal for management and control. Maschio offers the Primavera as a folding drill in 5.0 or 6.0m widths, and 12 to 16kph working speeds are not unusual. List prices start at £57,776.
Mzuri – www.mzuri.eu
The new IPASS direct drill series announced by Mzuri last year uses established Mzuri features, but with design changes providing low disturbance seeding with increased output and efficiency. The IPASS drill hopper holds 5000 litres and is pressurised to allow metering and conveying for high application rates of seed and fertiliser at faster forward speeds. The hopper has four variable speed electric metering units, two for seed and two for fertiliser. They can be used to shut off half the width, and the metering system works with almost all fertiliser compounds and seed types used in the UK. The IPASS coulter assembly design is unique, with leading discs cutting the soil surface and any surface trash, followed by knife coulters to clear trash and place fertiliser below the seeding zone. A seeding coulter follows, using a self-steer action to follow the previous coulter. IPASS drills are available in four widths from 4.0 to 8.0m.
Samagri – www.samagri.co.uk
The Hampshire-based Samagri company was formed in 2008 to become the UK distributor for the Kockerling machinery range, and this remains a major part of their business with products including the Jockey series tine drill with a 6.0m working width folding to 3.0m for transport. The Jockey has 36 tines spaced at 16.67cm and with a 60cm tine bar spacing. The seed hopper has 2700 litres capacity and additional hoppers are available for sowing two or 3 seed types or fertiliser. The minimum tractor power recommendation is 180hp. Another of the machinery manufacturers using Samagri for at least part of their UK distribution is Virkar, and their tine drills are in the Dynamic F series available with 4.5, 5.0 and 6.0m width options. A special design feature is the pneumatic seeding mechanism offering rates from 2 to 380kg per hectare, and row widths can be adjusted between 19 and 25cm.
Weaving Machinery- www.weavingmachinery.net
A special feature of the Sabre Drill series suitable for direct drilling is using four rows of auto-reset tines for a wide range of moisture levels while coping with surface trash. Seed metering is pneumatically operated to deliver precisely measured amounts to each coulter, working with seeds ranging from field beans to rapeseed. The metering system is land wheel driven, but electric drive is optional. The specification includes 125mm row spacing, a plastic hopper holds 1800 litres of seed and working widths from 4.0 to 6.0m are available with list prices starting from £24,800. There are a number of similarities between Sabre Drills and the Front Tank Sabre Drills, and both are said to be ideal for customers wishing to change from conventional or minimum tillage methods to direct drilling. Front Tank series drills are available in 4.8 to 8.0m widths with minimum power recommendations starting at 160hp, and list prices start at £58,800.