Among the weaknesses which emerged as a result of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, there is undoubtedly the inadequacy of the European Union's raw materials supply chain system. The dynamics triggered by the sudden changes in the economic and political balance, the generalised increase in the cost of oil, natural gas and primary agricultural products (cereals and oilseeds in particular) have led the countries of the old continent to move towards self-sufficiency policies, not only in the energy sector, but also in the agri-food sector.
In order to reduce the imports of cereals, the need to increase European production of wheat, maize and sunflower, to mention some of the food products whose availability was mostly affected by the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, has been reviewed. With this in mind, a proposal was made regarding the use of arable land: revise the limitations imposed on the areas that can be farmed by temporarily suspending the set-aside areas or 'ecological focus areas' - the so-called EFAs - to bring about an adequate increase in the European production. There are about 9 million hectares in Europe that can be used for production of foodstuffs.
In the hope of achieving a greater autonomy and loosening dependence on the "granaries of Europe" (Ukraine and Russia), new perspectives are emerging for the European agriculture and the players that gravitate around it. Farmers are working with the prospect of more cultivable hectares and they need to be supported, even more and better than in the past, by agricultural technology providers: among the latter are manufacturers of specialised agricultural machinery for the sowing of ever more valuable cereal crops.
PRECISION ALSO IN CEREAL SOWING: MATERMACC'S PROPOSAL
Although MaterMacc is known above all for its range of precision planters, it also constantly invests in the development of equipment for the cereals and fodder sector, offering both mechanical and pneumatic drills for in-line seeding on tilled, min-tilled or hard soil.
Among all models in the range of pneumatic seed drills, the MSD Elektro stands out for its precision and sturdiness in design which is characterised by the following features which come with the standard equipment:
• Heavy-duty seeding element suitable for minimum tillage: no soil preparation required which results into saving time and input costs (fuel and labour, for instance)
• Tough working unit with a furrow-opening down-load pressure up to 45 kg
• Seeding elements for every soil and crop conditions, available with seed press wheel
• 4 metering units and 4 distribution heads for better seeding uniformity
• Versatility and safety with a metering system able to manage both large and small seeds
• X4 monitor and electric drive
• Seeding universal kit
• Equipped with double seed sieve grid and electronic scale for the sowing calibration
The seeding bar design is the main strong point of the MSD Elektro, allowing maximum precision in the seeding operation. The key feature of this design is its stability and sturdiness, assisted by down-force on each individual seeding unit up to 45 kg, independently from soil characteristics and ground contours. The clean cut and precision of the V-shaped furrow left by the double disc opener is among the first positive points noted by customers.
The independent adjustment of each individual seeding unit, with integrated cover harrow and seed press / gauge wheel, guarantees reliability and efficient operation of each seeding row, considering the fact that in more extreme conditions, the soil can present considerable variations in texture over limited areas in the space of just a few metres. Independent adjustment is also important to increase down-pressure on the tracks left by the tractor wheels. There is the possibility of alternately excluding the outlets of the distribution heads to get a multiple of the standard inter-row spacing, for example to sow soyabean or rapeseed at a wider spacing i.e. 25 cm: a practical and economical way of having two seed drills in one.
The operating elements are designed to work on all type of soils and have a down-force pressure up to 45 kg for each one, to seed in every soil condition and for every crop. In addition to that, productivity is very high as, depending on soil preparation, it is possible to seed at working speed from 10 to 13 km/h. The seeding units arranged on two ranks and MaterMacc can offer to its customers various possible configuration:
- Single disc opener with side depth limiter is available as standard. The adjustment is a simple 'ratchet system' «A»; the same used for the seed covering harrow (version without rear gauge wheels). The whole structure of the element is press-folded and bolted-on structure to stand and absorb very strong stresses.
- Single disc opener «B» and double disc opener «C» with rear depth control gauge wheel. Possibility to mount a rear covering harrow with spring swallow tail (optional).
- The main support, which is connected to the frame tube, is made of a single piece «D» press-folded and drawn without welding (where stress cracks may normally occur), the seeding ranks are staggered.