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NEW PRODUCTS: Renovator seed drill arrives from New Zealand

Published on 17 August 2010

0810pc_newproducts_1Built largely by its success in New Zealand, the Duncan Ag MK 4 Renovator is expected to hit U.S. shores as a seed drill for the mid-size farmer and rancher.

The MK 4 is Duncan Ag’s newest seed drill, specifically constructed for a more precise seed depth and preservation of soil structure.

Each drill is equipped with the option of 5- or 6-inch row spacing, and has peg roller seeder units able to sow turnips through to peas. Newly designed bins provide better seed flow, thanks to a larger capacity that opens to 110-degree angles and comes with a gas strut on the outside of the lid.

Its predecessor, the MK 3, was not sold in the U.S. But a lighter version of the technology – the Eco Seeder – has been tested and used with success in California, according to Ron Johnson, a lead distributor for the equipment at Pearson Farm & Fence in Colfax, Washington.

“You can go into a no-till type situation, where you have an existing pasture or hayfield, and with one pass you can go in and get a seed bed while maintaining a soil structure,” says Johnson.

Most users, Johnson said, have typically applied weed and grass killer, and return two weeks later to use the Renovator easily in prepping the pasture for new forage. The equipment uses a unique tine, or T-boot, to open up the soil enough to make the seed have good contact with the ground.

The MK 4 has larger seed capacity, with three boxes – two for seed and one for fertilizer. The Eco Seeder comes with one box or one dual-box.

Johnson said the drill would be an effective tool for the rancher interested in “sustainable and intensive grazing, where every day they’re rotating the cattle and they want things to grow fast in some paddocks.”

John Pearson, owner of Pearson Farm & Fence, and a partner in Duncan Ag, said the Renovator is best suited for sod, and is most effective in quickly turning around re-seeded pasture, either dry or irrigated.

Prices for the Eco Seeder start at $14,995 and up to $21,495. The Renovator MK 4 ranges from $31,500 to $44,395. end_mark

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ABOVE TOP: MK4 Renovator. Photo courtesy of Duncan Ag.