Duncan MK 4 Renovator

The Duncan MK 4 Renovator can seed pasture or worked ground with ease, impressing dealers nationwide with its versatility in tough conditions

  • Increased bin size
  • Wider opening on the fertilizer bin lid for improves access
  • Productivity is improved
  • Optional narrow row spacing and new tine harrows
  • Easy set-up and accurate calibration

At the National Fieldays®, Duncan Ag’s North Island sales and product support representative Grant Thompson said that farmers were pleased with the increased bin size of the Duncan MK 4 Renovator, as well as its improved inclination, and newly designed agitator shaft.

Field testing had earlier proved the new bin structure, with 110-degree lid opening and exterior gas struts to provide improved access. The prototype machines both here and in Australia proved the benefits of easier loading, and more importantly, contractors reported fewer top-up stops per paddock, resulting in greater productivity overall.

Bigger bins

Barry Curtis, a well-known South Canterbury contractor, put a prototype through the hoops on every possible kind of terrain. Curtis was impressed that the wider opening on the fertiliser bin lid offers improved access for half-tonne fertiliser bags, and, having sown everything from turnips to wheat and barley on every soil condition possible, he was enthusiastic about this drill’s performance.

In Central Otago Mark Reid gave another prototype his toughest contracting jobs. Reid agreed, “the increased bin size and ease of access is a positive move in these financial times, where every saving on time and effort affects the bottom line of farm accounts”.

Seeding efficiency

Another feature of the Duncan MK 4 Renovator is its increased seeding efficiency.

Throughout the prototype testing, none of the prototypes failed in the field, and many comments were about a direct seeder that now gets even closer to fence lines or irrigation out-takes.

Larry Dougherty, at McLarens Machinery in Ranfurly, says the major benefit of the MK 4 is the option of narrow row spacing, however he also points out the importance of the new seed boxes when renovating a small paddock with small seeds.

“Farmers no longer need to carry extra seed in the box to maintain an accurate seeding rate,” he says. “But equally important, these large bins are ideal for the contractor sowing a big acreage.”

Dougherty is also impressed with the new Duncan tine harrows, which are easily attached to the MK 4 Renovator and further improve the one-pass operation.

No double drilling

Double drilling is a thing of the past with the release of the MK 4 Renovator.

“I’ve put the MK4 onto more than 500ha of contract work on all types of terrain this season. It’s a 28-run machine that easily navigates a 12-foot gate space and the 125mm row spacing is ideal for one-pass direct drilling. It answers the questions most farmers ask,” says Curtis.

“I didn’t have any serious breakages or delays in the paddock,” he adds. “It really is a strong, robust drill.”

The 25mm coiled steel tines provide strength and reliability to avoid downtime in the field.

Richard Anderson, Duncan Ag’s sales and product support person in Washdyke says it means more consistent seeding because the tine stays in the ground.

“We offer the MK 4 Renovator in a 3m working width, or 3.5m working width, and each is configured as either 125mm or 147mm row spacing,” he says. “With the working width the same as the overall width of the machine, both models are gate friendly.”

Anderson agrees the 147mm row spacing is, in some instances, appropriate for the seeding of cereal crops such as wheat and barley, “but, orders for the Duncan MK 4 Renovator have been good, with the 125mm spacing option being by far the most popular”.

In field trials, the narrow row spacing resulted in significantly fewer weeds in the paddock and reduced spray work later.

“Narrow row spacing reduces chemical usage and costs, and takes away the necessity for double drilling,” he says.

The overall efficiency of any seeder is exposed when contractors are using GPS in the paddock. Marshall Agri Service runs all of its drills on GPS and Marshall says that this really does tell the truth about the accuracy of seed calibration.

“The Duncan seeders are so easy to setup, and the calibration is really accurate. On the MK 4 we regularly found that after 30-40 bags of seed had been sown, we had 4kg of seed left in the box.”

Read the full story on the Duncan MK4 Renovator in the October issue of Farm Trader magazine, on sale now.


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