What are the advantages of minimum tillage seeding and when is it preferred to conventional tillage?
The minimum tillage technique is an alternative to conventional ploughing of fields, chosen by the environmentally aware farmer seeking greater sustainability in agriculture. In fact, the elimination of ploughing brings a number of important advantages, including increased soil porosity due to the activity of micro-organisms, a higher water infiltration capacity, less soil compaction, less surface run-off and a more significant contribution of atmospheric CO2.
Minimum tillage seeding is carried out at around 15-20 centimetres: the aim is to prepare the seed bed by reducing the number of machine passes required. This technique is suitable for all crops (except beet) and can be used exclusively or in rotation with ploughing. In addition to considerably reducing the costs of ploughing - at the same time streamlining the time for crop alternations - minimum tillage minimises the 'disturbance' caused to the soil: it has a low impact on soil fertility.
MaterMacc's new proposal for minimum tillage seeding
To meet the needs of sustainable agriculture and increasingly frequent minimum tillage, the Italy-based manufacturer has extended its range of precision seeders by presenting the innovative MS 8100 Front Folding, a trailed seed drill with a front-folding frame that is fully electric.
Stronger thanks to its new oversized frame and more stable thanks to its four large support wheels that limit soil compaction, the MS8100 FF seed drill has all the credentials to make the most of the EVO seeding unit with its new electrified seeding distributor. The 8000 Evo seeding unit, in the Elektro version, was developed by MaterMacc's R&D department to guarantee excellent performance at high working speeds.
In addition to the EVO seeding units, designed to work at speeds of up to 12km/h according to ISO 7256-1 protocol, there are electrically driven seed, fertiliser and microgranulator distributors. The frame of the new MS8100 precision seed drill uses a square-section 180 x 180 mm tube to ensure greater robustness: it lends itself to greater ground load and is therefore suitable for minimum tillage but also for direct seeding when equipped with MS9000 elements. The drawbar for the semi-mounted hitch, with three points and integrated double fan (one for suction and the other for blowing fertiliser) is hydraulically telescopic to adapt for easier headland turns.
The electric transmission system eliminates sowing delays on restarts and eliminates leaks.
Further advantages are the presence of the increased load spring and the TURBO model coulter disc option, which allow seeding even on coarsely tilled soil; or with the presence of crop residue if equipped with rotative clod removers, a feature often found in minimum tillage soils.
The trailed machine implies less power absorption for the same configuration compared to a back-hitched machine. In fact, the MS8100 Front Folding is equipped with a fertiliser tank of over 2300 litres, which increases productivity. At the same time, the four support wheels mentioned limit compaction even in the presence of such a load, which also aids penetration of the operating elements on minimum tillage land.
Pictures in Gallery: MS 8100 Front Folding in the field in Poland