Three years ago, Horsch took its first step into the central fill single disk seeder market with the launch of the Avatar SD in Europe. This year, Horsch is bringing the Avatar SD40, a 40-foot, 48-row single disk seeder with 10-inch spacing, to the North American market.
One of the first things that stands out about Avatar SD40 is its dual tanks, with a total capacity of 166 bushels. This provides flexibility in the products applied or seeded on the field, Horsch product manager Jeremy Hughes says.
"One of the biggest things that growers ask us about when we talk about central fill-type single disk machines is, ‘How can I get multiple products on the same chassis?’" Hughes says. "We've got a lot of guys out in the marketplace that are planting wheat and want to put down dry starter fertilizer. We know when we plant winter wheat and put on some starter fertilizer with it, we're going to have some yield advantages by having in-furrow starter fertilizer."
Having two tanks with electric-driven seed meters for each, as well as ISOBUS compatibility, opens up opportunities for planting dual soybean varieties — with the right prescription map — Hughes adds. The setup also provides some options when seeding cover crop blends, allowing the grower to split up similar species to improve establishment of different cover crops.
Both towers are engineered to allow material to come out the top through the center of the tower, rather than on the outside. Then, the hoses from the towers to the openers are positioned to minimize angles, giving product a straight shot to the opener.
The Avatar SD40 is built for easy transport — with the ability to fold from a 40-foot width down to a transport width of 12 feet — which Hughes notes is slightly narrower than a tractor.
It's also designed for easy adjustments. "If I have to do any depth adjustment, if I have to adjust the tension on the seed boot, if I have to adjust the tension on the press wheels, all of that can be done from a standing position at the rear of the machine," Hughes says.
The seeder is designed to minimize the number of wear points, and there are no pins or bushings on the Avatar's openers. That's thanks in part to the rubber torsion mount system, which uses rubber cords as the pivot point where the opener arm is mounted to the toolbar.
This means there's no wear from steel-on-steel contact. This rubber torsion also serves as the flex point for down pressure adjustment.
TWIN TANKS: One of the first things that stands out about Avatar SD40 is its dual tanks, with a total capacity of 166 bushels. This provides flexibility in the products applied or seeded on the field — including opportunities to seed wheat while applying starter fertilizer and seeding dual variety soybeans.
Another factor is compaction mitigation — and the Avatar's toolbar weight transfer system is designed to transfer weight from the seed wagon to the coulter frame, delivering homogenous pressure across the length of the toolbar, keeping the toolbar stable and helping to mitigate compaction.
Large-diameter tires also help relieve compaction. Each tire has about 420 square inches of footprint. "You've got a massive amount of footprint already,” Hughes says. “Then we lift up on the chassis with the weight transfer system, and we virtually eliminate tracks from this planter.”
Another highlight of the Avatar is seeding precision and product distribution uniformity, with minimal variability between each opener, Hughes says.
It starts with splitting the product 50/50 at the meter, sending half to the tower on the left and half to the tower on the right side of the drill. The towers are engineered to allow material to come out the top through the center of the tower, rather than on the outside.
"On every tower on a pneumatic seeder, there is a curve that goes up to the head distributor, and material will inherently want to follow the outer radius," Hughes says. "With the internal baffling on the Avatar as it curves up going into the head, we're able to keep material coming out dead-center, so it has even distribution. Then, we have hoses with a straight shot from the head to the openers."
EASY ADJUSTMENTS: Any depth adjustments, or adjustments on tension of the seed boot or the press wheels on the Avatar's row units, all can be done from the rear of the machine.
The Avatar has an optional half-width control, a section control system that allows the operator to shut off one half of the machine while sending product to the other.
With this distribution uniformity and dual-tank setup, Hughes says the Avatar is well-suited to small grains producers, soybean growers and cover croppers.
"With the Avatar SD, we see target markets in small grains/winter cereal producers who use single shoot seeding systems," Hughes says. "On the other hand, we see a lot of disk drills being used in the soybean market. So there is some interest for the farmer that has a corn planter, but wants a separate machine to prioritize soybeans and wheat."
The Avatar SD40 starts at a base retail cost of about $210,000 when half-width control is included. For information, visit www.horsch.com.