Growers looking to place dry fertilizer in-furrow with seed in cereal crops will want to take a look at the new Avatar SD40 single disc air seeder from Horsch.
The launch of the Avatar SD40 marks the German engineering company’s first entry into the North American single disc air seeder market. Horsch product manager Jeremy Hughes explains what really makes the seeder unique is its 166-bushel product carrying capacity, which is split between two independent 83-bushel tanks.
“The ability to precisely meter two products independently is an industry first for bulk central fill type single disc drills,” says Hughes. He notes that growers can use the full capacity for seed, but they can also add fertilizer. “Placing in-furrow dry starter fertilizers in crops like winter wheat, rye, and even rice have had proven yield benefits according to many experts across the continent,” adds Hughes.
Horsch is also marketing the Avatar SD40 as a good fit for growers who plant cover crops. Many farmers today use compact single disc drills for not only planting cereals and soybeans, but also cover crops. “One of the biggest issues in seeding cover crops today is that many farmers have their hands tied with seed blends. These blends are often a nightmare for today’s drills to meter accurately and consistently, which can produce frustrating outcomes,” says Hughes. “The ability to have two compartments and meter two cover crop seeds independently gives the grower superior rate accuracy and confidence in quality seeding.”
At the 2019 National Farm Machinery Show at Louisville, Kentucky, Hughes offered a close-up look at the disc openers on the 40-foot wide unit which features 10-inch seed row spacing. (Story continues after the video.)
“One of the biggest frustrations we hear from farmers with single disc seeders is linkage wear and bearing life on the opener disc,” says Hughes, “but with the Avatar we have eliminated these issues.” The opener arm mounts to the toolbar using a rubber torsion mount system, and all the openers are mounted on a rock shaft. Down pressure is simply adjusted in the cab, and the rubber torsion is the flex point. “There are no pins, bushings or springs. Nothing to rattle apart, and nothing to compromise seed placement,” says Hughes. The blade bearing assembly is also the largest available on single disc openers.
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