The choice for disced direct drills is far from limited, with a number of recent and forthcoming additions shaking up the market.

Just launched at SIMA 2019 (after CPM went to press – see April issue for details) is Kuhn’s new Aurock triple-disc seed drill. It offers the capability to establish crops under cover, in minimum tillage or direct drilling conditions.

Targeting the growing conservation agriculture sector but with the versatility for wider applications, the Aurock is launched in a 6m format and will be available from this summer.

With either single or dual-metering options, it offers the versatility of managing approaches such as dual cropping or sowing one row in two with independently managed sowing depths.

The Aurock is an ISOBUS-compatible machine, available with the Kuhn CCI 1200 or CCI 50 control terminals.

Väderstad’s dedicated direct drill is the Seed Hawk, although the model hasn’t been available to UK growers for about four years, says Väderstad UK’s Andy Gamble.

“These machines are not designed for European agriculture due to their transport width. But anyone with a Rapid already has the original Väderstad direct drill – System Disc was added later to create extra tilth in dry seasons, and the toolbar can be lifted out of play if direct drilling in good conditions.”

A three-row kit is available for the Väderstad Rapid.

In high trash situations, such as in cover crops, you can remove the CrossBoard and switch to the three-row kit that’s now available, he adds. “The Rapid gives you the penetration and depth control needed for heavier soils, while the third axle of seed coulters allow heavy residue to pass through.”

Lemken has the Solitair drill, available in various formats, which is neither a tined nor direct drill. “But the beauty of Lemken’s crop establishment system is that it’s modular – the Solitair is designed to work in conjunction with a cultivation tool in a single pass if required,” says the company’s Richard Relph.

He advises those looking for minimum disturbance, or a strip-till system, to opt for Lemken’s Dolomit. Available in a 3m or 4m working widths, this pre-loosener has 60cm wide wing shares that work the soil at a 35cm depth, which allows mulch seeding in a single pass, when used in conjunction with the Solitaire.

The Sky EasyDrill is specifically designed for conservation agriculture systems, with the versatility to drill direct into cover crops, stubble or cultivated land. A single-disc notched coulter, angled at just 3.5°, moves as little soil as possible, but enough to create a tilth, says Sky Agriculture. A dual metering system, split hopper and optional small-seed Prohopper offer a plethora of dual-cropping and placement options.

Horsch’s Avatar is the company’s dedicated conservation agriculture/direct drill. Two rows of single-disc coulters at a row spacing of 16.7cm and a clearance of 33.4cm per row cope with harvest residues and catch crops, says the company. It’s available in 3-8m working widths with the standard 5000-litre double hopper or there’s the Avatar 12, available with a seed waggon of up to 12,000-litre capacity for larger units.

The 750A is John Deere’s well proven and popular direct drill, suitable for establishing a crop straight into cover crops. It’s available in 3m, 4m and 6m working widths with an 1800 or 2300-litre hopper. With a single-disc coulter angled at 7°, the 750A can drill with minimum disturbance at depths up to 90mm, while coulter pressure can be varied up to 250kg.

Tine after tine can be sublime

Not every tined drill is suitable for drilling direct into stubble or cover crops, nor will slot into a single-pass system. But they offer considerable benefits in terms of cost and in conditions that simply aren’t suitable for direct drilling.

Kuhn offers the Megant drill to those wedded to tines, especially on heavy or rocky soils. It’s available in 4.8m, 5m, 5.6m and 6m formats, all with a 1700-litre hopper. It’s not designed for direct drilling, but includes Kuhn’s Quantron S electronic seed-metering system.

For tined enthusiasts, also available through Opico is Maschio’s Primavera. Available in 4-6m working widths with a 1500 or 1700-litre hopper, it’s billed as a low-cost seed drill for min-till systems. Four rows of tined coulters are designed to work in trashy or stony conditions.