Opico brings Chrono precision drill to the UK

Following comprehensive field testing with contractors in the west country this season, the full range of six and eight-row Maschio Gaspardo Chrono precision drills are now available in the UK from Opico.

by Steven Vale

16 Sep 2020

Available in mainland Europe for two years, main features are a new seed delivery system, air bag suspension and electronically-controlled metering for both seed and fertiliser, and the Chrono is claimed to offer unrivalled seed placement and depth control at speeds of 14-18km/hr.

This level of precision is all down to a new design of metering unit. The Chrono doesn’t just leave it to gravity to ensure seed ends up in the ground, a venturi puts it under positive pressure and controls its speed.

Seed placement accuracy is also assisted by the 15-degree angle of the metering units, where seed drops off the disc and straight down the coulter tube without touching the sides.

Downforce on each coulter is provided by air-bag suspension integrated into the parallelogram linkages. As well as providing protection against shock-loading from stones and obstacles, the system is said to maintain a constant down-pressure, avoiding the units bouncing at speed.

The Chrono is fully ISObus-compatible enabling all its functions and adjustments to be handled either through an existing tractor terminal or an additional ISObus controller.

In combination with the electronically-driven seeding units and microgranular applicator, the GPS-compatible drill controller also provides automatic row shut-off/section control and the potential for variable rate seeding and fertiliser applications.

Prices start from £53,534 for a six-row Chrono 306 with 1,200-litre fertiliser hopper. Standard specification includes air-bag suspension, GPS-compatible ISObus controls, 60-litre seed hoppers and front disc-openers.

The options list includes electronically controlled microgranular applicators (16-litre hoppers) and trash-cleaning wheels for minimum tillage and direct-drilling situations.