Morris Industries’ new air drill is seeing some additional attention from the team, as the company strives to improve producer productivity.
Unveiled last year at Canada’s Farm Progress Show in Regina, the Quantum drill is available in widths of 40 to 70 feet, and, like all drills, its productivity is limited by its width and, most notably its speed.
“So right now with the Quantum style machine, the maximum seeding speed is typically around five miles per hour,” says Garth Massie, corporate agronomist for Morris Industries, acknowledging low speeds can really limit farmers’ productivity.
In order to improve efficiency, rather than make the drill wider (and thereby affect transport, re-sale, and horsepower needs), Morris Industries is working on increasing its speed.
“One of the things that we’re looking at is a bolt-on attachment…that will allow us to increase our seeding speed by about 50 per cent,” explains Massie in the video below, explaining that one of the biggest problems when seeding at high speeds is how much soil gets thrown in the process.
The bolt-on attachment option mitigates against the flying soil, allowing for faster speeds and a smooth finish.
“These metal crumbler wheels, they run along behind, and they provide a bit of a shield,” says Massie. “So as the soil is being ejected outwards as it flows around the opener, [the wheels] capture some of it, and it redirects it back into the furrow, and that allows us to increase our seeding speed without throwing excessive amounts of soil onto the furrow.”
The attachment is fastened with the same pin that removes the original packer arm and the grasshopper (the apparatus that holds the packer arm). It includes a new grasshopper, two crumbler wheels, and a packing wheel that allows the packing force to be set separate from the shank trip out force. The depth control cam, parallel linkage arms and frame mounting system all remain the same.
“We need to do quite a bit more homework, testing, and evaluation in different soils in different parts of western Canada to make sure that we’ve got everything all sorted out,” says Massie. “So we’re thinking limited release potentially this time next year.”