Global manufacturer John Deere is collaborating with German company Volocopter to develop large drones for agricultural use.
In the northern hemisphere, the limited disturbance created by the drill is also favoured by farmers trying to beat blackgrass infestations.
The company reports having sold two million units globally.
At the heart of the drill, single disc openers are used to great effect.
For the 2019 season, the introduction of PRO-Series openers will help increase performance and these can also be fitted to existing machines.
Designed to cause less disturbance, more consistent seeding depth, better seed to soil contact and an improved slot closure, the new units will find favour with existing users.
The re-design starts with a narrower seed boot that fits more snugly to the disc, creating less soil-throw and providing 40% more consistent seeding depth. Wear rates are also improved as the seed boot is now protected more by the opener disc, so subjected to less soil contact.
Also, the press-wheel has a narrower section and larger diameter, allowing it to fit into the seed trench more precisely.
With a double-row bearing set-up, the layout is said to help seed-to-soil contact and more consistent depth, leading to more even emergence and a potential for higher yields.
At the rear of the unit, a more aggressive serrated closing wheel is said to be 50% more effective.
Further design changes see the seed bolt mounting replaced by a flag pin that stops the boot from moving, improving accuracy and reducing wear. The seed tab that stops seeds bouncing out of the trench now fits the contour of the trench more precisely and offers a doubled service life.
The manufacturer says discs can be changed in about half the time of previous units, so this helps to reduce maintenance schedules.
New control systems offer full ISOBUS compliance with John Deere and third-party displays. These also offer the ability to manage section control, overdosing and a pre-dosing function.
In previous versions, when tramlining, the same amount of seed was diverted to adjacent openers leading to over-dosing in these rows. The new software maintains the correct seed rate over the whole field.
In addition, a new pre-dosing function prevents gaps from a standing start by pre-charging the system at the press of a button