Precision planter specialist Monosem has a new ‘Monoshox’ coulter damping system which enables a wide range of crops to be sown at accurate depth and spacing, while achieving excellent seed to soil contact, when working at much higher drilling speeds than previously achievable.
The system uses an automotive style shock absorber to supplement the metal bushed, parallelogram linkage and twin springs currently used to protect the coulter against shocks, and guarantees accurate drilling depth.
This new design is the result of the company’s 40 years’ experience, allied with feedback from customers around the world, including many in the UK, says Steve Twist, from Toucan Farm Machinery Ltd, Monosem’s UK importer: “Monosem has been developing the NG Plus continually since the 1980s and this is the fifth different version.
“We asked our many drill owners what they wanted from their next machine, and their top request was to be able to plant their wide range of crops at higher speed, without detriment to the planting accuracy they know they can rely on from Monosem. This new design is proven to do that, while also maintaining the consistent spacing and depth of sowing”.
“It ensures totally accurate placement of the seed – both in terms of distribution in the row and sowing depth – so crops emerge quickly and evenly, which simplifies all subsequent crop management, to give the best profitability.
This is achieved by the combination of the springs and the shock absorber, says Steve: “At lower working speeds the springs exert enough force to ensure the coulter maintains an even sowing depth.
“But – as with a car wheel – the shock forces that might move the coulter grow as speed increases. When this happens the shock absorber complements the springs and ensures the coulter stays at the right depth, in the same way that they ensure a tyre maintains maximum contact with the road.
“The planter has already proven its ability to sow a wide range of crops including maize, sugar beet, oilseed rape, beans and cereals in markets across the world, and a growing number of British growers are enquiring about it”, says Steve.
“We have particular interest from arable farmers in the Eastern counties who are looking to plant maize and sugar beet with one machine, and are growing these crops for anaerobic digesters”.
NG plus planters use a front levelling/sweeping blade to clean and level the soil surface directly ahead of the coulter, before the double disc openers cut a seeding slot to the depth set by the neighbouring and independent depth wheels either side of the discs
This slot is V-shaped and finished by the machine’s crucial ‘V-tip’, so that the seed sits at the bottom of the soil groove and is held and in contact on both sides.
Seeds are singulated in an all-metal vacuum metering box by a large diameter, 210mm stainless steel seeding disc. Using a disc of this size and material ensures both effective singulation and a long working life.
Single seeds are positively ejected and drop under gravity down a rearward-angled seed tube. This ensures they are placed in the V-slot by gravity alone, with no excess energy that might cause them to bounce or move. To ensure optimum seed to soil contact, the coulter is followed immediately by the ‘Pro’ stainless steel press wheel.
Two angled ‘V’ rubber press wheels make sure the soil is closed over the seed and guarantee twin contact points over the seed with the soil, giving optimised germination efficiency at speed.
“The pressure and working angle of these wheels is quickly and easily adjusted using individual control knobs, so the planter can maintain optimum performance and accurate planting depth in all different soil types and conditions. This also ensures they run cleanly and always cover the seed with soil then consolidate it.
Monosem offers the widest range of drill frame designs available – from two to 18 rows – with mounted, parallel folding and trailed models available. All drills are custom built to the buyer’s needs, with a full range of optional fertiliser and granule insecticide equipment, seed monitors and current Isobus systems being available.