GEOSEED delivers greater efficiency

As a specialist sugar beet contractor, M and J Haulage is perhaps the largest and most accomplished sugar beet handling contractor in the UK. Based at Home Farm, Snelland, Lincolnshire, the business handles a 2,800ha workload from drilling through to harvesting. 

The company is at the cutting edge of sugar beet production, and in addition to growing thousands of hectares for its farmer customers, the company carries out many trials for British Sugar. Its workload is one that demands the very best from equipment – in terms of productivity, reliability and efficiency – and is why M and J Haulage relies on two 18-row Kverneland Monopill SE precision drills to handle the workload.

“Both our drills have GEOCONTROL capability, with auto start/stop at headlands and individual electric seed metering drives,” explains operator Roger Parr. “And this has raised the bar in terms of seed savings and efficiency for customers.”

“We no longer get any overlaps and this means beet plants no longer compete for space,” he says.

Electric seed metering has created endless possibilities with tramline positioning too.

“We drill at 50cm row widths, but can accommodate 20, 24, 28, 30, 32 and 36m tramline widths to suit customer’s equipment,” he says. “I just key the numbers into the iM Tellus dual screen terminal and press go – it so accurate and so easy to use.”

However, one drill is now equipped with GEOSEED. This patented two-dimensional control allows seeding in parallel and diamond pattern. Using RTK in combination with new hardware on the Monopill SE, the placement of the seeds is controlled in such a way that alternatively parallel or diamond patterns can be created.

Patterns are also replicated and perfectly matched, on a pass-to-pass basis, avoiding plant bunching between bout widths.

“I thought GEOCONTROL was impressive, but GEOSEED takes precision planting to a previously unachievable level,” says operator Roger Parr.

This ideal distribution pattern will result in the best uptake of nutrients, light and water. In combination with GEOCONTROL, this precisely metered planting regime can also reduce the seed rate, avoid overlapping and eliminate seed windows.

And M and J Haulage is trialling 150ha of beet for the 2014 campaign using the GEOSEED diamond seed spacing pattern to further improve plant growth.

“We are confident that this latest drilling technology will result in yield benefits, smoother harvesting and save on costs,” he says. “When we harvest the 150ha planted by GEOSEED – it is part of a 90ha field planted using GEOCONTROL – we should see some tangible benefits from the increased accuracy of the latest specification drill.”

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