Dewulf Miedema Structural MS 4000 potato planter: Spuds in at 11km/hr

Belt-fed planters are popular in the Benelux countries, and there are a number of units now appearing on UK farms. Half of the potato planters out of the Miedema stable, which is part of Dewulf, are belt-fed machines. We tested the latest generation MS 4000 in the sandy soils of eastern Germany

by Sonke Schulz

Offering more flexibility for planting different sizes of tubers, belt-fed planter models have a number of advantages over the more familiar cup-fed machines and could be the better choice for growers wanting a defined number of plants per hectare. Another plus is the higher forward speed, which, in turn, means more output. Indeed, Dewulf has no issue with romping along at 11km/hr travel, which, in combination with the 4.5t hopper, suggests an output gain of about 30%. But there are some points to ponder, such as the more complex metering system and a higher machine price. Niagri says it has a number of the Structural machines now working in England, including a couple of units with a cultivator and a swanneck drawbar.