New Drills Make UK Debut

New grain and fertiliser drills from Great Plains

Visitors to the Great Plains Stands at this year's Cereals and Royal Highland Show events were able to see the latest additions to Great Plains Centurion and Saxon drill ranges alongside the recently launched X-Press VX cultivator and longer established examples from the extensive Great Plains range.

Grain and fertiliser variants have now been added to the existing grain only 3, 4 and 6-metre Centurion cultivator drill ranges. In addition, fertiliser application is now available on 3-metre and 4-metre Saxon minimal disturbance drills and is also an option on the very latest addition to the Saxon line-up, the 6-metre model, which was also shown this summer in grain only format for the very first time.

“The new fertiliser options have been added to speed up emergence and promote the best possible start for young seedlings particularly in the spring, which is crucial to optimising output for spring crops. This latest development across our Saxon and Centurion ranges has been driven by extensive trials over the past three years seeding into cover crop as part of resistance black grass trials with Agrovista,” explained Sales Director, David Holmes.

“The fact that we are placing fertiliser at the time of seeding and closer to the seed, either in line with the seed utilising the Great Plains double shoot system, or as a side dressing, offers other important benefits apart from timeliness of emergence, such as reduced input costs and improved weed control,” he added.

The double shoot design, on 3-metre and 4-metre models, comprises a Crary fan unit and two metering units independently feeding seed and dry fertiliser to each opener via single venturi outlets and two towers, one for grain and one for fertiliser. Larger 6-metre models have dual venturi outlets, with half-width on both for calibration and half-width shut-off, and four towers, two each for grain and fertiliser. The fertiliser is placed through a choice of either forward or rear facing fertiliser tubes.

An adjustable partition in the hopper enables percentage grain to fertiliser division of 60/40 or 50/50. Hopper capacities are 3000 litres as standard on 3-metre and 4-metre models. A 4000 litre hopper is offered as an option on 4-metre drills and is standard on 6-metre models.

Independent ‘on the move’ variable rate control for both grain and fertiliser, provides maximum efficiency where nutrient requirements change within varying field conditions, says Great Plains.

Higher application rates of up to 400kg/ha are achievable largely due to the new design of distribution head and venturis. The new design also gives a more even distribution of the seed across the full width of the drill profile and better seed spacing in the linear row, says the company.

Saxon line-up extended with new 6-metre model

Great Plains has added new 6-metre models to the existing line-up of 3 and 4-metre Saxon minimal disturbance drills. Grain only and grain plus fertiliser variants of the new 6-metre model are available.

Equipped with the Great Plains Turbo Coulter discs, the Saxon is designed to meet the need for minimal disturbance and, if required, for cutting through and drilling into high volumes of residue. This makes the drill ideal for use in cover crop rotations where the crop has been sprayed off and minimal soil disturbance is necessary to help prevent the emergence of yet-to-germinate grass weed seeds.

“Not only is the Saxon highly effective in reduced tillage establishment systems and across a wide range of soil types and conditions, it can operate very efficiently in no till conditions where the soil structure allows and can help to improve control of black-grass and other grass weeds,” said Sales Director, David Holmes.

“The Turbo Coulter disc is of an innovative and well-proven Great Plains design,” he explained. “It offers excellent seed placement with minimum disturbance between the rows and reduced risk of hair-pinning. Each Turbo Coulter disc is in line with the trailing double disc 00 Series opener. The angle wave profile of the Turbo Coulter disc creates a mini-seedbed in a finely tilled 10 to 50mm strip of soil into which the seeds will actually be planted and provides every row with equal growing conditions. The flutes enter the soil perpendicular to the ground for maximum cutting performance with less down pressure. The same flutes exit the soil parallel to the ground for a controlled soil release, leaving the soil between the rows almost completely undisturbed.

“The ‘Double V’ press wheel option helps to cover the seed by pinching the slot, creating optimum soil to seed contact, especially when working without cultivation in wetter soils,” he added.

The 6-metre Saxon 600 models feature a 4000-litre capacity hopper, which for grain and fertiliser models, can be split 50/50 or 60/40 between grain and fertiliser.

The Turbo Coulter discs run ahead of a tyre packer, which offers the largest diameter and widest profile currently available on the market and provides highly consistent consolidation in front of Great Plains’ well proven 00 Series openers.

The new 6-metre drills sow 36 rows (at 167mm spacing) and 48 rows (at 125mm spacing). Each 00 Series coulter incorporates a seed flap guiding seed close to the opener bottom, eliminating seed bounce.

Hydraulically adjustable down pressure in the range of 40kg to 160kg ensures the coulters operate at consistent depth in all soil types. New opener rail geometry maximises the transfer of weight to the coulter and press wheel by keeping the coulter arm parallel to the ground. This ensures accuracy of seeding depth and control over down pressure especially in difficult conditions.

The seed distribution system is variable rate ready. It comprises injection-moulded seed distribution heads with optional tramline shut-offs and seed blockage monitors to accurately deliver seed to each coulter with the ability to shut off each row individually for wider row spacing if required.

Great Plains has introduced a new meter housing design for easy access and a new modular seed drum system. Seed calibration is also easy and convenient, says the manufacturer. With seed calibration mode selected from the cab, the operator simply walks to the rear of the drill where a dedicated pipe delivers the metered amount.

The new Saxons fold to 3m for transport, the transport weight being carried on the packer, with two wheels each side for stability and clearance fitted with low ground pressure 420/55 17 tyres. A full European lighting kit is fitted.

Hopper weigh cells can be fitted as an option. Working via the hydraulic control system, these ensure the hopper’s weight is evenly distributed right across the drill’s width no matter how much grain it contains.

Other options include new hydraulic sprung track eradicators, hydraulic full-width levelling board, press wheel scrapers and harrows, hydraulic bout markers, pre-emergence markers, air or hydraulic brakes and camera kits.

Control is via a Mueller ISOBUS-ready system and a choice of display terminals is available.