Designed for deep vertical tillage, the Great Plains inline sub-soiler, marketed by Norwood, shatters yield-robbing compaction layers created by horizontal tillage tools such as ploughs and discs.
It has recently developed an eight row planter for the European and Australasian markets with a working width of 6.0m, but folding down to 3.0m for transport.
The new Yield Pro YPE-825A planter has Great Plains’ Series 25 opener, Air-Pro meters and Clear-Shot seed tube to deliver accurate seed placement at faster speeds, and it can plant a whole host of crops from maize to canola with precision.
“This planter is ideal for contractors or large farming operations that grow big areas of maize,” says NZ distributor Power Farming’s seeding and cultivation equipment specialist John Chapman. “Anyone familiar with American maize planters will appreciate this is a strong machine and well built.
“It has a more refined design to suit the European market and comes with the option of a large, centrally placed fertiliser box.”
The Yield Pro YPE-825A can plant a range of crops in eight or 16 rows depending on whether it has conventional configuration or uses the Great Plains’ Twin-Row system.
In GP Twin-Row set-up, two rows of seed are placed seven inches apart on both sides of a centreline. This increases field utilisation from 14.4% to 44.8% and allows more space per plant, increasing light utilisation from 30% to 90% @V7. It also allows roots the maximum area in which to form while not being squeezed by neighbouring plants. This increases grain yields and green leaf yield as the plants produce a bigger stalk and more leaf, so there is a double benefit in maize silage.
Yield Pro planters can be configured with four different row spacings when working in conventional format: 70cm, 75cm, 76.2cm (30 in), and 80cm, and the three wider spacings in Twin-Row format.
At the business end of the drill, Great Plains’ Series 25 openers run on a parallelogram system with 57-227kg pressure per unit, and depth control from 0-9cm, allowing the drill to operate in cultivated and direct drilling situations. Pneumatic power feeds the seed from each row’s 53L tank and moves fertiliser from the 1700L tank, while application rates are controlled via ground-driven wheels.
The pneumatic system in Great Plains Series 25 openers uses air pressure rather than a vacuum to place the seed on the plate, Chapman says.
“The pressure system requires less air to operate and is more reliable than vacuum systems. Singulation is achieved with four brushes and the pressure holding the seed in place releases as the seed enters a bank of antistatic brushes just before it reaches the top of the ‘clearshot’ tube.
“Once the seed is in the tube it falls by gravity down the ‘clearshot’ tube that is shaped to the working speed. At this point a seed firmer immediately presses it into the seedbed. The result is a very accurate system with no moving parts, maintaining [at least] 99% accuracy at working speeds of 8-10km/h.”
With harvest operations unaffected by the Twin Row system, and yield benefits in the range 10-15%, the system should find favour with Kiwi operators.