Saxon Drill Meets The Growing Need for Minimal Disturbance

At SIMA 2017, Great Plains is exhibiting the 4-metre version of its Saxon CDA range of minimal disturbance drills which also includes 3-metre and 6-metre grain only models plus grain and fertiliser variants for all three working widths.

Equipped with the Great Plains ‘zonal cultivation and seeding system’ which comprises the manufacturer’s Turbo Coulter discs and 00 Series opener, 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, says Great Plains, makes the drill a highly effective tool as part of a cultural strategy of control in the battle against resistant grass weeds – a growing problem that is affecting yields across much of western Europe.

“The Saxon has performed exceptionally well in resistant grass weed trials in the UK and has proved to be ideally suited 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,” explained Great Plains Export Director, Simon Revell.

“The Turbo Coulter and 00 Series opener combination is 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 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 Turbo Coulter discs run ahead of a tyre packer, which says Great Plains 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. It also provides even weight distribution across the full width of the drill.

Designed for use in reduced tillage establishment systems and across a wide range of soil types and conditions, the Saxon, says Great Plains, can also operate very efficiently in no till conditions where the soil structure allows.

The Saxon’s sister drill, the Centurion CDA shares the same features around seed delivery and consolidation but, instead of Turbo Coulters, is equipped with notched cultivation discs. These provide maximum disturbance across the full width of the drill. The Centurion is ideally suited for work in plough-based and reduced tillage systems.

A major benefit of the Saxon and Centurion ranges says Great Plains is that the disc sets are interchangeable. The Saxon’s Turbo Coulters can be removed and replaced by the Centurion’s notched cultivation discs, and vice-versa, relatively quickly and easily on the farm by two people. This, claims the manufacturer, effectively provides two different drills designed to perform very different tasks in one machine package.

Saxon and Centurion 3-metre, 4-metre and 6-metre drills sow 18, 24 and 36 rows respectively at 167mm 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 00 Series 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 the helical design ensures seed is always being metered consistently eliminating pulsing so consistent spacing in the linear row is achieved. The reworked Venturi increases efficiency of the air flow, coupled with the redesign in the distribution tower and distribution head, seed metered to the coulter is more evenly divided and spaced.  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.

Hopper sizes are 3000-litres as standard on 3-metre and 4-metre drills, with a 4000-litre hopper available as an option, whilst the 6-metre models come with the 4000-litre tank as standard. Grain and fertiliser drill hoppers can be split 50/50 or 60/40 between grain and fertiliser.

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.