Kverneland has developed a drawbar-mounted seed hopper for its Optima TF Profi SX high-speed precision drill. Driven by short weather windows the pressurised, large capacity seed hopper compliments the SX seeding units to further improve output, making the most of the seeder’s high-speed planting capability of up to 18km/h.

Currently available on the eight-row Optima TF Profi SX, the drawbar-mounted seed hopper boasts an 870-litre capacity – an increase of 390-litres over the eight, 60-litre hoppers traditionally used with each row.

“Filling individual seed hoppers on a precision seed drill can be a time-consuming task,” explains Kverneland UK product manager Graham Owen. “By replacing those individual hoppers with a large capacity, mid-mounted seed hopper, this latest development focuses on simplifying and reducing fill-up times, with the emphasis on increasing productivity.”

Seed transport from the hopper to the sowing units is free from electronics and mechanical moving parts, and relies on air flow from the Optima’s fan.

“One seed injector per row is located at the bottom of the seed hopper, and air is used from the fan to transport seed to the sowing units at the back of the drill,” he says. “Seeds carried in the airstream collect in a buffer area directly above each sowing heart, where a 1.5-litre seed tank holds a ready-supply of seed for each unit.”

As each buffer tank is filled, airflow is interrupted and seed transport stops immediately. As the seed level in each buffer reduces, air automatically flows again and seed transport continues. The 870-litre seed tank sits ahead of the Optima TF Profi SX’s optional 2,000-litre fertiliser hopper.