Great Plains will be exhibiting a number of examples from their extensive range of vertical tillage, drilling, planting and nutrient placement products at this year’s Agritechnica. The manufacturer’s line-up includes the following machines:
Making its global public debut on the Great Plains stand at this year’s Agritechnica event is one of the latest additions to the company’s range of new generation Spartan direct drills, the 10-meter SpartanII 1007. This new model follows the 6-meter SpartanII 607, launched in Europe in 2016, and the 9-meter 907 model, which made its first appearance earlier this year at SIMA 2017. An 8-meter model is already available and a 12-meter will complete the range next year.
The new SpartanII 1007 can be specified with 52 or 64 rows giving row spacings of 190mm and 150mm respectively.
While sharing many of the same features as their Series I predecessors, particularly around seed placement, hydraulic weight transfer and Great Plains’ unique zonal cultivation and seeding system, the new SpartanII drills incorporate a number of significant new developments.
The next generation of the drills’ seed tower system has resulted in primary and secondary hose diameters being increased by 20%, significantly improving seed distribution and air flow.
In addition, the risk of spillages around headland turns is greatly reduced thanks to shorter hose lengths from meter to tower and a faster variable rate shut-off from the cab.
Productivity-enhancing features include tramlines, individual row shut-off, and integrated Daisy Chain Blockage Sensors (DCBS) which require fewer wires and provide accurate isolation of a blocked or faulty sensor.
The seed metering system has been redesigned to meet the needs of our customers says Great Plains. All new models include as standard three meter wheel options to allow for a wide variety of seed sizes. The system is capable of seeding at a rate of 300kg/ha at 14km/hr. For cover crop applications the fluted shaft small seeds roller is standard for seeding oilseed rape, clovers and other small seeds. The shallower and narrower star configuration can reduce seeding rate by 20-50% for the same variable rate gearbox setting.
The mechanical variable rate drive fitted as standard to earlier Spartan models is now replaced with a variable rate hydraulic drive to allow population adjustments from the cab as well as variable rate mapping.
All SpartanII drills 8-meter and above come with two 3500-liter hoppers, mounted fore and aft, for seed and fertilizer application or seed and seed. The drill also incorporates a high-capacity 254mm diameter auger. Equipped with optional wireless remote control, it enables the hoppers to be filled and unloaded via the rear hopper by a single person, quickly, easily and safely.
The ISOBUS-ready SpartanII drills now also benefit from a new control system. Great Plains’ DrillCommand software, claims the manufacturer, offers ease of use and reliability. The technology regulates, monitors and controls the drill and all its assemblies so the machine starts, runs, resumes, and shuts down faster and easier. Built-in diagnostic tools allow operators to troubleshoot any machine issue from the comfort of the cab. With many customizable configurations available, precise hopper control assured, and the ability to drill multiple seed variations, DrillCommand offers real flexibility.
The new series II generation utilizes Mueller Elektronik smart touch-screen control technology. All monitor options are individually expandable, enabling a range of functions to be added as and when required.
The new SpartanII models retain many of the proven technologies that were included in the original Spartan series. Returning elements include the field-proven 07 Series Opener, which, together with Great Plains’ Turbo Coulter, are at the heart of the manufacturer’s ‘zonal cultivation and seeding’ technique and meet the growing demand for minimal disturbance and operation in heavy residue.
Running directly ahead of the double disc openers, the integrated fluted-profile patented Turbo Coulter blades cultivate the ground vertically, but only in a 10-50mm wide strip of soil. Residue is cut and moved to the side. The 380mm x 4mm offset double disc blades run in this prepared strip and the seeds are placed at the bottom of the trench with a precision planter-style seed tube, eliminating seed bounce. A diagonal spring transfers pressure from the mount to the press wheel to stabilize the opener further and reduce vertical opener vibrations which enhances even seed placement. The closing wheels that follow are narrow enough to run on the soil and not on the straw ensuring the correct point of depth measurement. With a choice of closing wheels available, Great Plains claims to offer the optimum solution for a wide variety of soil types and conditions enabling good soil to seed contact.
Hydraulic weight transfer remains a key feature of the new series II Spartans. The openers can flex up 125mm and down 75mm, while the wings of the frame can flex down by approximately 5° and up by around 10°. Coupled with constant hydraulic down-pressure applied to the wings, the drill is able to precisely follow undulating ground conditions from side to side.
Great Plains designers have not limited the introduction of new developments to in-field performance. On-road handling for this 3-meter transport machine has been improved. All models from 8-meter upwards offer improved rear wheel stability. New style caster wheels and tires are capable of running at higher speeds. The rear casters are placed further back with a trailing design so their tracking has improved and they now follow in the same footprint as other implement tires so as not to create additional tracks. The tires now include a scraper to keep them clean. The operator can manually lock the wheels in place for safe and controlled backing on and off of trailers and for storage.
All SpartanII drills from the 8-meter model upwards also feature a new hydraulically adjusted parking stand.
The 10.6 meter NTA-3510 drill on display brings together the drill implement and the ADC2350 dual-bin cart in an integrated design. The implement is semi-mounted to the cart, allowing the implement to raise and lower independently across undulations in the field. A hydraulic weight transfer system further enhances flexibility and ensures equal weight distribution to all rows.
The 3-meter 3P1006NT is a 2-point mounted drill designed for no-till systems and for seeding into cover crop and working in heavy residue. It features lift-assist wheels for safe operation and transport and utilizes Great Plains’ 06 Series Openers for seed placement. Coulters, pre-loaded to 204kg, ensure effective penetration. Available with a range of seed and fertilizer box options.
Part of the extensive Yield-Pro family of planters, the 8-row YP-825A is designed around Great Plains’ Air-Pro metering system for outstanding seed placement accuracy. Utilizing the firm’s 25 Series Row Unit, the YP-825A can be configured with either standard single rows or Great Plains’ Twin-Row design on 70, 76, 91, 97 or 102cm spacing.
This in-line Great Plains Sub-Soiler is a vertical tillage tool that can be used in conventional, reduced tillage or no-till farming systems. The Sub-Soiler fractures the compaction layers over the full working width through lifting and resetting of the entire profile. Available with auto-reset or rigid shank mounts.
Used primarily as a seedbed preparation tool ahead of planting or drilling, the Turbo-Max is a trailed tillage unit essentially comprising two gangs of 51cm coulter blades featuring a patented hydraulically adjustable gang angle system. Working widths on narrow transport models range from 3 to 8 meters.
Great Plains’ Vertical Tillage system will be highlighted at this year’s Agritechnica event including the manufacturer’s new Max-Chisel™ primary tillage tool which makes its European debut.
Vertical Tillage is a system-based approach developed by Great Plains to ensure that soils are well-structured in order to give plants the best possible environment for healthy growth and create the ideal conditions for optimum yields.
Doug Burgardt, Great Plains International Marketing Manager, who will be one of a number of Great Plains advisors available on the stand to provide visitors with more details about Vertical Tillage, explained the concept and the rationale behind the system: “Conventional horizontal tillage techniques are more prone to creating compacted layers which can be bad news for plant roots and ultimately crop yields. Roots in a top, lower-density layer can be diverted sideways when a higher-density layer is encountered,” he said.
“Vertical Tillage, however, focuses on ways of avoiding the creation of compacted layers in the soil, thereby maintaining the natural processes that help to feed and nurture the crop. These include the capillary action that enables water to percolate and drain through the soil and the development of a healthy root system.
“Vertical Tillage works by creating the vertical cracks and fissures that permit good water infiltration through the soil profile, so water-logging and ponding is avoided but the crop can seek out moisture when it needs it.
“Good Vertical Tillage practice leaves a uniform, unrestricted soil profile in which the plant can develop a deep and efficient root structure giving it full access to the soil’s valuable reserves of nutrients, air and moisture,” he concluded.
The key elements within an effective Vertical Tillage regime, claims Great Plains, include effective sub-soiling, maintaining the optimum soil density, managing residue effectively, consolidating the ground and creating the ideal seedbed.
Great Plains Vertical Tillage line-up for Agritechnica includes the in-line Sub-Soiler, which is designed to eliminate compaction layers with minimal disturbance to the topsoil, and the Turbo-Max® seedbed preparation tool which made its European debut at SIMA earlier this year. For the first time in Western Europe, Great Plains will also be showing its Max-Chisel vertical tillage implement.
The Max-Chisel is an aggressive primary tillage tool with exclusive concave turbo-wave blades that work at a depth of 10-13cm and leaves fields smoother and more uniform than most traditional disc cultivators. This enables a single-pass implement, such as the Turbo-Max, to finish the field ahead of the drill or planter. The two opposing rows of turbo-wave blades with their patented ‘samurai edge’, remove root balls while mixing, chopping, and incorporating residue to accelerate the decaying process.
Mounted to Great Plains’ individual C-shanks, 610mm blades on 381mm spacing allows for effective trash clearance.
The hybrid vertical tillage Max-Chisel also includes heavy-duty auto-reset shanks that work from 20-30cm deep to remove compaction layers and reset the soil profile. Shanks are positioned to create an effective spacing of 38cm.
Angled chopper wheels pull soil back into the shank voids, levelling the soil while maintaining the vertically-tilled profile left by the shanks.
All Max-Chisel models feature hydraulically adjustable disc gang depth control. With more than 1,100kg of horizontal trip force, the shanks are designed to keep working in the ground even under the hardest conditions. Great Plains also offer medium-duty chisel shanks as an option.
Max-Chisel is available in working widths of 3.51, 4.27, 5.03 and 5.79 meters. The Sub-Soiler offers working widths from 2.1 to 7.74 meters, while the Turbo-Max range comes in working widths of 2.6 to 14.6 meters.
Part of Great Plains Nutri-Pro range of fertilizer applicators, the 12-meter wide NP2540LL ensures precise application of liquid fertilizer while tilling and cleaning a wide strip that creates a warm, clean, vertically tilled seedbed ahead of the planter. The product is available semi-mounted with lift-assist wheels. Hydraulic weight transfer to the wings is standard and helps Nutri-Pro follow the most challenging terrain. A movable hitch and adjustable rear casters allow easy conversion of the machine for side-dress applications.
Also on display on the Great Plains stand is the RC5615GP Rotary Cutter. Built by the company’s Land Pride division, the smooth top design of this cutter allows easy dispersal of debris and moisture while the smooth base reduces the chance of dry caking material getting lodged in tight corners. Independent spring-cushioned wheel arms cushion travel through rough terrain and center skid shoes allow the cutter to 'glide' over bumps and undulations, protecting the turf as well as cutter components. The pre-cut chamber allows material to spring back up before being cut, giving a clean, precise finish.