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An Amazing Trial

Ross Armstrong of ‘Coolibah Plains’ which is found 85klms south east Emerald in Central Queensland reports, “The product backup offered by Muddy River on the Horsch Maestro Planter

and Vanderfield was exceptional which I initially trialled and then subsequently purchased through the Emerald branch. Particularly as they allowed me to try the planter in a variety of conditions and in a trial of 300 ha was amazing.

The Horsch Maestro exceeded expectations in all areas, especially the excellent flotation which allowed for faster working speeds. The manner that the frame lifts the plantings units out of the ground makes checking and maintaining the units much easier than any other planter on the market. Then folding and transport of the whole machine is so quick and compact that mobility is unequalled and storage space is minimised”.

More about the Emerald trial on the Maestro can be viewed on www.youtube.com/user/MuddyRiverAg or www.facebook.com/muddyriveragricultural but this is what the trial operators recorded.

“Planting sorghum at 40,000 seeds a hectare in dry land at about 12km an hour we ended up covering just under 20 hectares in an hour. With a full hopper of seed it should be possible to work three 10 hour days covering 1,500 acres without filling up.

As the soils are very sticky when wet, the farmer waits till there is a dry top layer of a couple of centimetres before he can start drilling. The aim is then to place the seed in the moist soil below the dry crust.

The hydraulic down pressure on the row units which are controlled by via the monitor allows the farmer to make sure the row unit runs deep enough. But not too deep, thus preventing them from entering too far into the sticky moist soil and causing blockages etc. This is a very nice feature as soil structure does vary a lot.

For sorghum a number of modifications (all optional equipment from Horsch) needed to be done to the standard row units:

Replace the standard plastic seed box (on top of the row unit) with a steel tube with smaller holes. This is to prevent the sorghum seed from getting stuck in the large holes of the standard plastic box.

Replace standard inserts on the central seed delivery system with ones which had smaller holes.

Replace two scrapers inside the row units. The seed on demand system works really well. It blows seed to the row units until seed covers all the holes in the steel seed tube. When all the holes are covered the air can no longer escape. So no air flow = no seed flow. Once enough seed is used and enough holes are free, air will start to flow and more seed will be delivered to the row unit. It’s a very simple system but it seems to work well.

The Maestro was operated via a John Deere Green Star 2630 display. This is just a little insight into this wonderful piece of equipment”.

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