The trend latterly when it comes to drill combinations has been very much in favour of pneumatic metering systems. Larger hopper capacities and the introduction of electrically-driven metering systems with push-button calibration and automatic GPS-based headland shut-off systems have been the main driving factors.
However, the simplicity of a conventional seed drill with its lack of fan and improved rearward visibility still holds some appeal to many end-users say Amazone.
The new 3 metre working width Cataya conventional drill combination goes a long way to bridging the gap between the two systems with its new 1270 litre seed hopper that sports an extremely favourable centre of gravity to keep the tractor lift capacity requirement at a minimum. Filling is quick and easy with the wide hopper opening and a lid profile that is designed to prevent spills.
The new peg wheel metering system is easy to switch between fine seeds and cereals at just the quick push of a slide. The seed shaft is driven electrically to give infinite variation of the seed rate from the tractor seat and push button calibration. The seed shaft can be specified to drive singly or in two halves and thus offers either full width automatic GPS-based headland shut-off or half-side, 1.5 metre ‘boom sections’ on the headland depending on the degree of accuracy desired.
The seed set-up, calibration and seed emptying functions are all controlled from a centralised operator station found to the left hand side of the drill in easy reach of the tractor cab. The electric metering system can be operated through the ISOBUS terminal in the cab or via the optional TwinTerminal 3.0 down on the drill. The TwinTerminal means that all the drill set-up can be done at ground level negating the need to trot backwards and forwards in and out of the cab during calibration. The flick over to calibration and the positioning of the trays is all handy from this one side. The ISOBUS machine ECU comes as standard with TaskController TC-BAS, TC-GEO and TC-SC for full documentation transfer and Section Control as well as supporting all AUX-N functions for tractor joystick operation. The drill can be controlled either by one of the AMAZONE ISOBUS terminals or via a third-party controller.
The theme of centralised control is taken beyond the SmartCenter and duplicated across all of the machine settings as well. The universal setting tool, which is hung on the drill, can be used to set seed placement depth, levelling board height, power harrow side plates, markers, following harrow, etc.; all of which can be done without the need for multiple spanners, now that’s convenient.
The Cataya seed drills are mounted onto the redesigned Series 1 power harrows and rotary cultivators which feature new easy-adjust side plates, parallelogram guided depth control for the tine depth and a roller mounted levelling board. A new range of wheel track eradicator tines are also now available. Seed placement accuracy is aided by the choice of packer roller behind the power harrow with the existing 580 mm wedge ring roller and 600mm steel packer rollers being joined by new 500 or 600 mm trapezium profile rollers as well as the 600 mm Matrix tyre profile wedge ring roller already seen on the Catros compact disc harrows.
The seed is placed into the area of consolidated soil created by the roller choice by either the well-known RoTeC Control coulters or the all-new TwinTeC double disc coulter. The new TwinTeC coulter features a pair of 340mm diameter Boron steel discs running at an angle of 10° which creates the perfect furrow for the seed to be fed down into via the interchangeable seed guidance system with moveable guide extension. This guidance system ensures that the seed is embedded into the bottom of the furrow without any influence from the rotating discs. Seed coverage and depth control is then provided by the depth guidance roller behind; this roller is available in 50 or 65 mm widths depending on soil type. The coulter pressure can be infinitely-variably adjusted up to 60 kg/coulter and the Cataya is available in row spacings of either 12.5cm or 15cm depending on choice.