Celebrating 75 years of seed drill production

  • For the last 75 years, Amazone has been at the forefront of drilling innovation, a milestone that is being recognised for Spring 2024 with a very special offer.

Amazone drill production goes back to the first 2 metre wide, horse drawn D1. Even back then, the use of the pioneering ‘Elite’ seed wheel which enabled the drill to sow a variety of seed sizes from clover through to cereals and legumes, without needing to change the seed wheels, was ahead of its time.

1967 saw the first seed drill combination of RE reciprocating harrow with the D4 drill bringing one-pass seed-bed preparation and sowing into one operation, saving time and fuel costs as well as leaving a wheeling-free finish and an enhanced germination. The use of drill combinations has stood the test of time with thousands of drills produced by Amazone each year still mounted to a PTO-driven KE rotary harrow or KG cultivator or the non-powered CombiDisc.

1970 saw the inauguration of the Hude production facility in Oldenburg, Germany as a dedicated factory for drill and harrow production which utilised metal workers laid off by a collapse of the ship building industry in Northern Germany. Hude is still producing components for drills and harrows, but assembly has now moved down the road to a state-of-the-art facility at Altmoorhausen with its massive paint shop and 18 production lines that is able to keep pace with the constant rise in demand for Amazone seeding systems.

During the 1970’s, the Amazone D7 became the first commercially produced drill to offer a tramline system. The drill featured a mechanism that deliberately left parts of the field undrilled to generate wheelings for the following crop care operations where spreader bout width was matched to the sprayer boom width in order to work on a fixed tramline width, a principle that is accepted as the norm these days.

A unique drill in the late 1970’s came in the form of the EV Garant which opened the door to up to 9 m solo seeding with a transport width of only three metres. Seed was augered up from a central, low level seed hopper into a ‘gravity’ metering roller system which then dropped the seed down the pipe to each coulter across the whole 6 m working width without the need for an air flow.

The 1970’s also saw production of the NoTill drill being ramped up as direct drilling became commonplace. The NoTill was a conventional gravity seed hopper feeding a chisel opener for a clean, straw-free seed slot and perfect depth control. The NoTill could be mounted in gangs for increased working widths. The production of the NT ceased with the introduction of the Primera which used the same chisel opener principle but features hydraulic folding and pneumatic seed conveyance, the Primera sells by the 100’s across the big prairie farming areas such as Eastern China, Kazakhstan, the Baltic States and Eastern Europe.

The Airstar pneumatic seeders came along in the 1990’s with a centralised metering system and a distribution head feeding each individual coulter via an air flow from the on-board fan. This then gave the ability to run the tank out to nothing, ideal for rape and small seeds where keeping a box drill covered over the full width often resulted in large seed residues. The air distribution system also offered the flexibility of using a front tank and a folding power harrow and seed rail on the back for compact transport widths and better weight distribution.

The introduction of a pneumatic conveying system enabled trailed drills and wider working widths to become established such as the Airstar Xact pictured here.

As farm sizes changed and min-till systems became the norm, the trailed Cirrus passive cultivator drill with its bigger tank capacity and up-front discs for cultivation followed by a packer roller and a bank of coulters in-creased output. Working widths of 6m and more became the norm.

These days the Amazone seeder range offers Condor and Cayena tine seeders, Citan solo disc drills, Cirrus cultivator drills, Primera direct tine seeders, Centaya and Avant power harrow/drill combinations which cover working widths from 3.0 m to 15.0 m. Multiple hoppers and multiple seed entry points for cover crop estab-lishment, or grain and fertiliser application, are now accepted as the way to drill. Clever electronics control the automated switching on and off, now by individual row, and also by individual hopper, to reduce lodging and seed wastage. Site-specific application of seed and fertiliser using Multi-Map variable rate mapping targets the right seed population to the soil type and topography.

And so to celebrate this impressive record over the last 75 years, Amazone is offering a cash-back of £75/row – meaning savings of £7,200 on a 15m Citan solo disc drill or £1,500 off a 20 row 3m drill combination. The offer applies on drills purchased between 01.01.2024 and 30.06.2024 and delivered before 31.12.2024. Offer applies to PTO-driven and passive KE/KX/KG/CD harrows combined with AD, Cataya and Centaya drills as well as Avant front tank combinations and the trailed Cirrus, Cayena, Citan, Condor or Pri-mera DMC drills. Please go to www.amazone.co.uk for the full terms & conditions of this offer.

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