New double disc coulter will improve germination in uneven seedbeds
At Cereals 2012, OPICO will be launching a new double disc coulter – the Perfecta – for use in low tillage and min-till systems. Fitted to Maschio’s Alitalia combination drill, the design and mounting of the Perfecta allows for deeper drilling and ensures precise seed placement despite an uneven seedbed. Ultimately, better germination and a more even crop emergence can be achieved, despite the ground conditions being less than ideal.
OPICO’s David Day explains: “Single disc coulters have been sold by Maschio for many years. But now that minimum and low tillage seedbeds have become more popular, so has disc coulter drilling.
“Maschio saw the opportunity and has developed an improved and ‘perfected’ disc coulter which is capable of following contours better, drilling deeper, and overcoming the challenges of seedbeds which are less than ideal.”
The Maschio ‘Perfecta’ disc coulter is actually a double disc coulter mounted in two rows on parallelograms. The discs are also larger, and so in wet, cloddy and very trashy conditions, will work better than single discs.
The parallelogram-mounting of the coulter allows it to follow the more undulating ground contours of low tillage systems, yet still maintain an even coulter pressure. This allows more precise seed placement and ultimately, better germination.
Mr Day adds: “Whilst there are other parallelogram-mounted coulters on the market, Maschio has taken it a step further by mounting the two rows of coulters onto two coulter bars to ensure the length of the coulter arms are the same. This means that the front and back rows of discs have the same coulter pressure and will float and drill identically.”
The new Perfecta coulter was first tested in Europe in early 2011 and since then has proven highly successful. In the UK, an Alitalia drill with Perfecta coulters was used to drill wheat on a Lincolnshire farm last November. Crop emergence was extremely consistent even on fields drilled later after root crops. The farmer has subsequently purchased the machine.
Mr Day adds: “Today’s time pressures have led to an increase in the need to drill at higher speeds and into rougher seedbeds, whilst still trying to reduce seed rates. So achieving an accurate drilling depth is even more important, as every seed counts and an even crop establishment helps maximise the effectiveness of sprays. By integrating the Perfecta coulter into a Maschio drill combination, all of these challenges are addressed, and a more uniform crop made possible.
“In fact, the launch of the Perfecta gives us what I believe is the best disc coulter offering on the market.”
The 3m DM/Alitalia Perfecta disc coulter combination costs £44,150 + VAT.