Horsch has been selling its 60-foot Maestro planter for a while now. However, the company says it noticed there was significant demand from producers for a smaller version. So, this fall it introduced a second Maestro with a 40-foot working width.
“When we introduced the planter, we introduced it with a 60-foot toolbar, a 24-row, 30-inch type planter, says Jeremy Hughes, product manager for Horsch. “We had interest in smaller planters from different markets so we introduced the 40-foot toolbar. With the 40-foot planter the standard spacing on that is 16-row, 30-inch. We also have a 32 row on a 15-inch spacing, or a 24-row on 20-inch spacing.”
The 60-foot version carries a 1,000 gallon liquid tank and a 140 bushel seed hopper. The new 40-foot model gets an 80 bushel seed tank along with 780 gallons of liquid fertilizer capacity; but the liquid fertilizer tank can be switched out to boost onboard seed carrying capacity to 160 bushels.
“That’s where we gain a lot of efficiencies in the field,” adds Hughes. “Not only can we drive faster, we can drive longer, because we don’t have to be stopping and filling all the time.”
The 40-foot version gets the same key features as the larger model. Those include electric drive on the vacuum meters, hydraulic down pressure and a weight transfer system.
“We built this planter to be a high-speed planter,” Hughes adds. “When you look at a lot of planters on the market today that are being marketed as high speed, all they’ve done is take an existing planter and put Band-aids on it, as far as a high speed meter. But they’ve done nothing to reinforce the framework or the row unit, itself, which is what takes the beating.”
Hughes says Horsch toolbars are built with high field speeds in mind, and row units have a robust design specifically to handle that kind of strain.
For 2016 Horsch will have an automatic down-pressure system available as a factory option. Owners of existing models will also be able to retrofit it onto their machines.
“It will be a system that operates on the go, as far as adjusting different sections of the planter,” says Hughes.
The brand will also offer a new in-cab monitor called the Touch 1200, capable of individual row shut off. Similar to an iPad, the Touch 1200 monitor can be mounted in both a vertical or horizontal position. Software changes for 2016 include turn compensation to provide more consistent seed spacing in corners.