With full section control and improved seeding depth management on their new Kuhn Maxima 8-row maize drill, Dorset contractors S. C. Marsh Ltd are taking precision drilling to a whole new level.
With close to 500ha of maize drilled for farmers around their base in Maiden Newton, the business is very aware of the importance of good establishment and director Matt Stantiford is reporting a range of benefits, from seed savings to improved crop performance.
“Section control linked to GPS autosteer on the tractor is a big step forward as it has completely eliminated any overlapping in maize crops,” says Matt. “We’ve calculated a 10% seed saving as a result of having no overlaps, but there are also wider benefits.
“Without overlaps, there is greater consistency in the crop, which results in increased evenness of ripening, and there is less risk of wind-blown crops going down.
“We were extremely pleased with the seed placement achieved by the drill and this has followed through in terms of crop performance.”
The Maxima 3 RT drill is a six metre hydraulically folding model from Kuhn’s latest Maxima 3 range. The Maxima 3 has some significant advancements on the previous Maxima 2, most notably in its improved seed selection and ejection system which enables accurate seed placement at working speeds of up to 10km/hour. Accuracy is also enhanced by a new seeding unit parallelogram which is reinforced in key areas, including at critical hinges and linkages, for added stability, robustness and longevity.
The coulter pressure system can produce up to 180kg of downward pressure, also enhancing seeding accuracy by ensuring consistent depth control.
Each seeding unit’s settings (depth, ground pressure, furrow closing, etc.) can be adjusted easily and quickly by hand and without the need for any specialist tools. This not only makes setting the machine up more efficient, but also makes maintenance tasks less time consuming.
“As contractors we’re working in a wide range of conditions, so it’s important that we have confidence in the ability of the machine to maintain a consistent seeding depth,” adds Matt. “With this machine we’ve been able to set the depth control easily and then leave it, and the results have been good.
“Having features like the clod board in front of each coulter is also important, so that stones and large clods are pushed either side of the drilling coulter. This is again easily adjusted or can be lifted out of work when not required.”
The Maxima 3 can be controlled via Kuhn’s simple and intuitive KMS 548 control panel and is also compatible with Kuhn’s ISOBUS CCI 50 and CCI 1200 terminals, but as Matt Stantiford explains it can also be operated via the tractor’s ISOSBUS system.
“We run the Maxima on our Case Puma CVX 175 tractor, linked into the control system on the tractor. The fields are mapped from the tractor GPS and the drill then operates from the tractor maps, with each seeding unit being switched on and off independently, therefore creating precision drilling without any overlaps.”
S. C. Marsh, who run a 12-tractor dairy-focused contracting operation throughout west Dorset, bought the Maxima RT drill through Beaminster-based Kuhn dealership Francis Bugler Ltd, following a demonstration the previous year.
“Reliability and back-up are important with any contracting operation and we have the reassurance of knowing Buglers are there when we need them.”
Caption: Section control on the Maxima 3 RT maize drill, linked to GPS autosteer, results in accurate seed placement with no overlapping.
Caption: The 8-row Maxima 3 RT precision drill run my S. C. Marsh Ltd sowed close to 500ha in Dorset in 2019.
Caption: The use of clod boards on the Maxima 3 RT is clearly beneficial immediately post drilling when working in challenging field conditions.