“Do you think the American farmer is ready for this?” asked one farmer with a broad smile and wide eyes as I took pictures of Horsch Anderson's new self-propelled air seeder, unveiled at a mid-June field day.

“I don't know, but everyone here is sure looking,” I replied as I kept snapping and grinning.

Ready or not, Horsch Anderson's air seeder, which boasts the ability to seed and fertilize an acre per minute, has hit the American market.

“When hooked up to the air seeder and the anhydrous ammonia tank, you can fertilize and seed all in one shot,” says Scott Ingemansen, sales manager for Horsch Anderson.

Yet, air seeding is just one part of a concept that Horsch Anderson is marketing. The crux of the unit is a multipurpose transporter (MPT) on which the grain tank is mounted and to which the tillage unit is attached.

Switch to grain tank

This fall, Horsch Anderson officials plan to remove the air tank and tillage equipment and install a 1,000-bu. grain tank on the MPT. “This represents a trend toward one piece of equipment doing everything,” Ingemansen says. “In Europe, many farmers plow, spray and apply manure with one piece of equipment like this.”

But for now, the main emphasis is upon air seeding. “In testing, we have found that approximately 25% of the power requirement to pull the seeder comes from the seed tank,” says Kevin Anderson, co-owner of Horsch Anderson. Placing the tank, seed and fertilizer on the machine nixes this power requirement and improves fuel and operation efficiency.

Producers may choose either a 300-bu. tank with two compartments split on a 60-40% basis, or a 500-bu.-capacity air cart with a 30-30-40% split for seed, nitrogen and other primary and secondary nutrients. Each compartment can be switched from liquid to dry fertilizer in minutes. Electric motors meter out seed and fertilizer.

The seeder can seed small grains, oilseeds or corn. Controlled from the tractor cab, the metering system consists of a gear reduction motor. The Seed Liner features various feed rollers that can be changed in seconds for different crops. The seeder also can vary seed type and fertilizer rates on the go.

New openers

Anderson openers are spaced on the Seed Liner's four ranks to create 15-in. spacings. Invented by Kevin Anderson, the openers help achieve optimum seed and fertilizer placement. A final pass of 49 7½-in.-wide packing tires also ensures good seed-to-soil contact.

Powered by a 428-hp engine, the Seed Liner features all-wheel steering that allows the unit to turn in a compact 30-ft. radius. The implement also features “crab steering” that can offset the front and rear axles to the left or right. This cuts compaction by spreading axle loads over a greater percentage of the soil area. Michelin 1050/50R32 Mega-X big tires also help reduce compaction via wide weight distribution.

Models

The Seed Liner's tillage component comes in 40- and 61-ft. widths. For easy transport, both versions fold up to 16½ ft.

The air seeder also can be ordered in a tractor-pulled version. Prices for this model and the Seed Liner have yet to be determined.

Contact Horsch Anderson, Dept. FIN, RR 2, Box 9, Andover, SD 57422-8811, 605/298-5663, sdibi.northern.edu/Anderson/Anderson.html or circle 199.