Farmers everywhere want to sow faster with great precision and ongoing improvement to yields. For the Wise family, the solution arrived with two 18-row Horsch Maestro planters.
David Wise and his wife, Rosemary, farm at Bowenville east of Dalby in the Darling Downs. Together with their son, Jeremy, and his wife, Megan, they crop 4047 hectares, rotation growing chickpeas, wheat and barley in winter. Sorghum in their main summer crop, along with mung beans and sunflowers.
For sorghum planting in October 2015 they replaced two John Deere precision planters with two 18-row Horsch Maestro planters.
David Wise said he could see straight away how advanced the Horsch Maestro planter was.
“The build is better quality, the precision planting is way better than anything I’ve seen, and the in-built simplicity of the design means it is very easy to operate. The Maestro is a beautifully manufactured machine.”
After a pass with an Orthman strip tiller to deep band fertiliser, they sowed 1376 hectares of sorghum with the new Maestros on one metre spacing.
David said they sowed at 13-14km/h with each planter and its 8500-litre seed wagon on a John Deere 230hp tractor. He estimated fuel costs at less than $1 per hectare for each.
“We planted approximately 55,000 seeds to the hectare and just kept going, knowing that the seeds would be perfectly placed for germination.
“We have about 162 hectares under centre pivots and we double the planting rate there. With the Maestro, it’s very easy to adjust rates. One flick as you pass from the dryland crops onto the irrigated, and the rate is changed.
“The strike was as good as you can possibly get, upwards of 90 percent plant establishment and almost perfect. The plants are stronger and healthier than in previous years. I think the Orthman deep banding helped with the nutrient uptake and the Maestro’s exact singulation, even at high speeds, has given us better yields with less seed.
“We’re just about ready to spray out before we put the two John Deere grain harvesters to work. The crop’s looking very good, easily 3 tonnes to the acre on the dryland crops and probably around 4 tonnes per acre on the irrigated land.
“When you combine the efficiency and accuracy with the strike rate and the speed of operating, I’d have to say the Maestro is already looking like an excellent investment. It’s given us exactly what we wanted, faster than we thought possible,” he said.
“And if we need help with something, we always get good back up from the guys at Muddy River.”
The Horsch Maestro SW planter is designed for all types of singulated grain and has electronically driven metering units using tractor power and a unique slotted metering disc.
An electronic monitoring system allows the operator to see singulation quality row by row and respond at any time to differing conditions in seed or seedbed quality.
The planter uses a hydraulic weight transfer system to spread the weight across the toolbar, which keeps the row unit in the ground at faster speeds. It has been engineered from the ground up to handle fast operation, minimise resultant stresses and deliver exact distribution accuracy.
The Horsch Maestro planter was awarded Machine of the Year (Category: sowing technology) at Agritechnica 2012.
For more information on Horsch machines, visit www.muddyriver.com.au or call Muddy River Agricultural on 0408 609 444.