THOUGH drought has caused an overall slump in machinery sales across eastern states, summer crop planters may be the exception to the rule as farmers set their sights on a cash crop.
Excel Agricultural Equipment sales and marketing manager Stewart Kings said a lack of winter crop had resulted in significant interest in summer crop planters at recent field days.
“We have planters already sold and orders coming through the factory,” he said.
You tailor make to what the customer wants, we just start with steel
“Summer crop is the next chance at a cash crop, it will be mostly sorghum or cotton.”
Showcasing a stack-fold planter bar attached to a SP200 precision row-unit at Commonwealth Bank AgQuip this year, Mr Kings said features and pricing in summer crop planters varied considerably depending on the customers requirements.
“You have to use your ears and listen to what the customer wants,” he said.
“This is on 750 millimetre spacing, we’ve gone the stack-fold for easier transport and for storage, the stackfold also helps when the boxes have seed in it.
“It has a twin disc opener for precision, we then optioned it up for Precision Seeding Solution’s Delta Force, including up and down pressure on the row unit and a load sensor below, this means it is sensing the ground for optimum control.”
Mr Kings said having seed spaced evenly up the row was important for yield, however this could be achieved at different pricing depending on other features.
“The traditional ground drive still works today and we still sell it, it is just a matter of dollars people want to spend,” he said.
“The row unit on display today is over $10,000 a row – we can do the same job at about $6,000 depending on what level of precision the customer wants.”
Mr Kings said while precision technologies were important features in a summer crop planter, the machines needed to be built to suit the specific requirements of the customers and where they are on the precision journey.
“You tailor make to what the customer wants, we just start with steel,” he said.
“On the planting side of it, it is all about seed singulation, dropping one seed down – not two.
“Technology is where it is going, and we can adapt to any stage of it. Some people only want the hydraulic downforce, or just want precision seeding and we will put a normal spring in.”
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