This year's theme on the AMAZONE stand at Cereals was always going to be about technology and hopefully, even in the virtual world, we can still offer a taste of what should have been. Providing kit for the sustainable and responsible use of fertiliser and agrochemicals is a continuing area of attention and, in the spreader sector, the multi-bin approach allows for running more than one map to split the spread rate to either side of the spreader for more focused variable application and even better targeting. The continuing development of AmaSelect to now offer CurveControl, Row and Spot to reduce the overall consumption of active ingredient takes crop protection machinery to another level.

That targeted use of fertiliser can also be brought over into the drill world with more and more drills having the ability to target the seed with P as a starter fertiliser as well as offering the chance to sow multiple seed types such as a mix of two or three cover crop varieties or an undersown grass crop . Again the multi-bin electronic technology offers the ability to run different seed rates from different hoppers and the multi-boom technology also means that the different seed entry points can have different shut-off points to prevent seed spillage out on the surface causing potential environmental impact.

Reducing the amount of soil disturbed with the drill is helping in the fight against grass weed issues as well as reducing CO2 emissions trough carbon breakdown. The new ISOBUS Primera 6000-2C grain and fertiliser direct tine seeder offers a drill with the flexibility of working in a conventional seedbed, in a min-till scenario or particularly direct. The 32 chisel tine openers, in four banks and a row spacing of 18.75 cm, carefully clear out a seed furrow leaving it clean from straw and crop residues and then the seed is covered by the hoop rollers running along behind each openers. Each opener can contour follow individually meaning that the depth control is maintained in any topography. Still on the subject of less disturbance, also featured on the 'stand' is the Cirrus MinimumTill Disc drill. Here, 36 straight-running wavey edged discs pre-cut through any surface trash to level a clean zone for the seed to be placed using the TwinTeC double disc coulter behind. The Cayena-C tine seeder works on a similar principle of front-running cutting discs but then TineTeC chisel tine opener.

A comprehensive range of crop establishment systems

Lets take a look around the stand in a bit more detail and see what's trending in the AMAZONE drill world?

The growers in the ‘movers’ and the ‘non-movers’ groups continue to diverge when it comes to cereal crop establishment. In the ‘movers’ camp, the drilling operation continues to be the method of seedbed preparation  as well as of seed placement and both the cultivator drill and the power harrow/drill combination are still used to good effect, either following the plough or working in a min-till scenario. This technique usually results in good seed/soil contact, a cleaner, more level soil surface and the prefect finish for making the best use of pre-emergence herbicides. Moisture conservation can be more of an issue in a dry time but the increase in soil movement can also be used to dry soils out and warm soils up.

The prevalence of grass weed issues has led to need to move less soil with the drill as, having generated a good stale seedbed where a mix of cultivation and crop protection has left us with a weed-free start, the last thing we want to do is to disturb the soil surface again during the drilling operation with the secondary flush of black grass plants being generated that are virtually impossible to control.

Cue minimum disturbance drilling, or, for some growers now, no-till drilling. The principle behind the technique is to let sleeping seeds lie and so the coulter just opens up sufficient soil to leave a clean seed slot and generates a micro-tilth to ensure good seed coverage and then, crucially, needs a good means of seed embedment behind. The seed slot generated can’t be left in a position where there is the perfect slug motorway.

Low disturbance drills

In the Amazone drill world, then there are two systems currently in vogue – the MinimumTillDisc Cirrus and the tine seeder range: Cayena, Condor and Primera.  The trailed 6 metre Cirrus, with or without fertiliser placement on-board, offers a conventional twin-row cultivation system upfront followed by the full width Matrix tyre packer. After that, the 340 mm diameter, 10° angled, TwinTeC+ twin disc sowing coulter, with its integrated press roller to ensure good seed embedment, then brings up the rear. The MinimumTillDisc system (no. 10) replaces the up-front cultivation element to provide a double stagger of 36 straight running, wavey-edged discs that cut through the surface trash and generate a narrow band of tilth ahead of the coulter. As seen in the video, this system also works well when drilling after cover crops. Forward speeds can be high and the coulter pressure can be matched to a soil map so that the drill registers the change in soil type and thus the seed rate and coulter pressure are adjusted automatically to match the site-specific VRA map loaded into the TaskController system. The live coulter pressure adjustment is generated by the fan drive oil flow.

AMAZONE pneumatic seed drill Cirrus 6003-2C

The Cirrus trailed cultivator drill is a pneumatic seed drill which is characterised by its superb working performance; both in conventional and mulch sowing. With its working widths of 3 to 6 m and hopper sizes from 3,000 to 3,600 l, the Cirrus stands for Maximum work rates and as an alternative, the Cirrus-C comes also with a 4,000 l twin outlet pressurised hopper.

The Cayena tine seeder

With the tine seeders, the Cayena (no. 5) works on a similar system to the Cirrus MinimumTillDisc except that the TwinTeC+ double disc coulter is replaced by the TineTeC HD chisel opener. Again the 4,000 litre split tank hopper meters a combination of seed and fertiliser or two different seed types for those looking to establish a mix of cover crops. The wavey-edged cutting discs at the front, on 16.6 cm centres, run directly ahead of the TineTeC HD coulter and then a sweep harrow back fills the seed furrow and then the wedge ring tyre packer targets each individual seed row ensuring perfect seed/soil contact. The 75 cm tip to tip spacing, from its three rows of openers, ensures adequate soil and trash flow though the drill irrespective of the amount of organic matter.

AMAZONE pneumatic seed drill Cayena 6001

The Cayena tine coulter seed drill has been designed for high-speed sowing on hard, dry and stony soils with or without prior soil tillage. With its 6 m working width and 3,600 l hopper capacity, the Cayena can achieve enormous work rates and, as an alternative, the Cayena-C comes with a 4,000 litre, twin tank hopper.

The Primera DMC is back in the AMAZONE drill range

The Primera 6000-2 DMC (no. 1) does what it says in the name, DMC – direct, mulch, conventional. The chisel openers follow the ground contours via a parallel linkage and individual hoop rollers with the depth set mechanically on a spindle. The 4,200 litre hopper, with its electrically-driven metering system, can feed both seed and fertiliser down to the coulter and the hoop rollers push the friable soil generated by the action of the chisel opener back into the seed slot.  

For the bigger grower, the Condor direct tine seeder comes in a choice of 12 or 15 metres working widths and has a three-chamber, 8,000 litre hopper with an electrically-driven metering system and is usable for both grain and fertiliser. The ConTeC chisel opener, based on either a 25 cm or 33 cm row spacing, is mounted in three stagger and suspended on rubber buffer blocks which, by twisting the mounting bar hydraulically, applies more coulter pressure - up to 120 kg. The depth of the tine is controlled by the press wheel on the rear of the coulter arm.

The benefit of all these systems is, not only are they low disturbance and so have relatively low running costs, but they are also light on horsepower requirement and can be pulled along with sensible sized tractors; the Cayena 6001, for instance, needs from just 150 hp depending on topography and soil type.

AMAZONE pneumatic large area seed drill Primera DMC 6000-2C

With the new generation of seed drills – The Primera DMC in 3 m, 4.5 m, 6 m, 9 m or 12 m working widths – AMAZONE is offering an outstanding machine for cost-effective crop establishment over large areas. This versatile large area seed drill with its unique coulter unit is ideally suited, not only for mulch and direct sowing, however, but also for sowing following the plough.

Upgraded AmaSelect for more sustainable chemical application

Sprayer performance has come on leaps and bounds with the introduction of the new UX 01 series . The key differences over the out-going, highly-successful UX 00 series is the upgraded wet system based around the new 7-way pressure valve for easy function selection and contamination-free changing from port to port along with the new Comfort-Pack with its progammable screen for automatic level fill stop of both the main tank and fresh water tank as well as agitation control from down at ground level. Fill speeds are up at 700 l/min and the new 60 litre conical induction bowl sucks out at a staggering 200 l/min and will take a 25 kg bag of powder in dry in seconds. The lid of the induction bowl forms a nice load area for bags, jugs and canister draining. From an operator point of view, the whole operational experience with the machine is enhanced with the intuitive AMAZONE in-house developed software and all this with a 28° steering axle and weighing in at under 4,600 kgs empty.

As seen in the video, boom ride on the new Super-L3 boom with ControlControl and SwingStop, is second to none with the positive and negative geometry coping with any fluctuating crop height development, speed and topography. Ask for an emergency braking demonstration to see the boom in action properly.

On the stand would have been a new UX 5210 (no. 7) with the upgraded AmaSelect system. The four-way automatic nozzle selection and control system, AmaSelect, can switch automatically to the nozzle best suited to the application rate and speed thus keeping drift to a minimum. There is a choice of 50 or 25 cm nozzle spacing which can be selected on the move and the height above crop is automatically set by the nozzle spacing chosen. The 7 possible combinations of nozzle can be triggered to change so that droplet size is always kept in the desired range and the nozzle bodies are switched individually for the minimum of overlap in short work, enabling savings of up to 5% on the chemical bill to be made. The upgrade to the system now includes:

AmaSelect Row – when working in row crops such as potatoes, sugar beet or maize, the AmaSelect system, utilising either a 25 cm or 50 cm spaced nozzle, selects the best matching nozzle body immediately above the crop so that the chemical is applied purely to the crop and not to the bare soil in between. This lessens the environmental impact by reducing amount of run off as well as reducing the overall amount of chemical used by up to 65%. The sprayer can revert back to a standard full-width blanket application at the press of button in the cab.

AmaSelect Spot – each individual 25cm spaced nozzle can be activated individually from a shape file loaded into the TaskController function of the ISOBUS. This means that a pre-loaded weed map can be generated by drone and then an application map generated which the sprayer follows in the field. Again spot areas of infestation can be targeted; reducing the overall chemical usage down as well as reducing the amount of crop lost if, for instance, spot spraying glyphosate against black grass in a cereal crop.

AmaSelect CurveControl – the flexibility of AmaSelect in terms of nozzle spacing, nozzle size, nozzle type and output make the system ideal for maximising chemical efficacy yet at the minimum of input cost. When spraying around bends, the AmaSelect system can now also be used to reduce the amount of overspray and underspray by switching to a bigger nozzle or nozzles where the boom is going quicker and to a smaller nozzle where the boom is going slower - or off where it is going backwards. Acceleration sensors on the boom tips, which are already there from the SwingStop horizontal boom movement damping system, tell the CurveControl which nozzles to switch. This gives a cost-free alternative to installing a PWM nozzle system onto a sprayer whilst keeping the flexibility and the cost-saving of the AmaSelect system.

AMAZONE crop protection spray UX 5201 Super

The UX Super trailed sprayer, in tank capacities of 4,200 l, 5,200 l and 6,200 l, is characterised particularly by its very comfortable handling concept. The Super-L2 sprayer boom impresses with boom widths of 21 to 40 m and excellent boom guidance. Thanks to the level of high-performance equipment offered, the UX Super trailed sprayer ensures maximum efficiency at an unprecedented output.

New 1,500 litre front tank revolutionises mounted sprayer output

The UF sprayer range has always benefitted from its combination with the FT front tank. The patented FlowControl system enables automatic transfer of the tank contents between the front and back tanks to ensure a homogeneous mix between the two tanks plus the tank volume regulated transfer of liquid from the front to the back as the contents of the rear tank drops. This ensures perfect weight distribution on the tractor and prevents any loss of stability and steering on the front axle, especially on sloping ground. The introduction of the UF 2002 in 2018 saw the wrap around combination capacity increase to 3,000 litres and now, with the introduction of the FT 1502 front tank (no. 3), then the overall combination is now up to 3,500 litres  - or the size of a small self-propelled unit. If the tractor can be put to use on other tasks other than spraying, then the ability to quickly drop off the sprayer means that the cost of the tractor can be better utilised and the comfort, flexibility and manoeuvrability of a mounted sprayer pays off time and again against the length and inconvenience of a trailed unit, especially when having to turn sharply on narrower tramlines and back into tight corners. All UF 02 sprayers come with the choice of all the toys: boom height control, automatic fill stop, in-cab cleaning, 50 cm individual nozzle shut-off, 25 cm nozzle spacing option so there is no need to rough it.

AMAZONE crop protection sprayer UF 2002

The compact UF 02 mounted sprayer is available in tank capacities of either 1,600 or 2,000 l and is characterised by its extremely operator-friendly design. With the Super-S2 boom in working widths of 15 to 30 m, the UF is a highly-efficient machine. In combination with the FT front tank, the tank capacity of the mounted sprayer can be easily increased by an extra 1,000 l.

WindControl upgrade on ZA-TS spreaders

ZA-TS_WindControl_d0_kw_PC122064_d1_181214
ZA-TS with WindControl

Knowing whether to continue spreading or not when it is getting a bit windy is a dilemma that farmers have faced for years and the introduction of WindControl (in accordance with Prof. Dr. Karl Wild, HTW Dresden) on the flagship, top of the range ZA-TS spreaders (no. 2) took that risk and gamble out of the equation. The digital anemometer has now been upgraded for 2020 with a new parking position location, a more sensitive wind measurement and improved performance. The system tells the operator of the wind strength and direction and then automatically adjusts the spread pattern by altering each individual disc speed as well as moving the delivery point position. If the wind strength in that field is too much then the operator can choose another field with a different tramline direction and then still keep spreading in the knowledge that the pattern is being maintained.  WindControl works in conjunction with the ArgusTwin radar spread pattern monitoring system 

CatrosXL

The new CatrosXL compact disc harrows

CatrosXL6003-2TS_MW_MW_JCB_dx_db_DJI_0745_d1_190731

When it comes to cultivation, the trend towards the use of cover crops means having the flexibility to be able to both establish that cover crop as well to handle more organic matter when it comes to sowing the cash crop afterwards. With this in mind, compact disc harrow design is changing with bigger diameter discs and a larger distance between the two rows of discs so as to have increased penetration, more aggressive mixing and the ability to handle the bigger quantities of crop residues. 

The new CatrosXL comes as either the CatrosXL 03 -2TS, in 4, 5 & 6 m working widths and semi-mounted on a bogey chassis, or as the trailed CatrosXL 03-2TX option in 7 & 8 m working widths and features a completely new 610 mm fine serrated or coarse serrated disc mounted singularly on a new heavier arm with bigger, oil-immersed bearings than on the standard Catros compact disc harrows. The distance between the front and rear disc rows is also increased to cope with more crop residues and more soil throughput. Working depths between 5 and 16 cm are possible.

Up front, a range of leading tools increases the flexibility of the machine. For instance, the straw harrow is designed to redistribute the heavy concentrations of straw and chaff caused by inconsistent combine chopping to even out volunteer growth and destroy slug habitats whereas the front knife roller can be used to either crush or mulch cover crops ahead of the disc system. For use in a min-till or after the plough scenarios, the front Crushboard can be used to level off seedbeds before the discs.

The three model line-up fits in between the Catros+ and the Certos with their 510 mm and 660 mm diameter discs respectively.

For perfect reconsolidation and maximising volunteer germination following the CatrosXL, there is a choice of 11 different packer rollers that include soil-on-soil or disc rollers as well as the strip-wise consolidation potential of the wedge ring roller. The CatrosXL can also be equipped with the 500 litre, ISOBUS GreenDrill 501 small seed applicator for cover crop sowing.

Free add-ons with any Cayros plough purchase

One of the special offers to be launched at this year's Cereal Show was the free add-on offer with any Cayros plough (no. 9) purchased this summer. The offer includes free skimmers and rear disc coulter worth up to £3,440 at their full retail price. The Cayros plough range goes from the 2 furrow Cayros M for tractors up to 120 hp through to the top of the range Cayros XS pro in up to 6 furrows and 380 hp.

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