Cover Story: Quivogne Rollmot 530 roller/air seeder

By: Jaiden Drought, Photography by: Jaiden Drought


Farm Trader heads to Manawatu to test the FarmChief supplied Quivogne Rollmot 530 roller/air seeder

After some patchy results with contractors, Eric decided to take matters into his own hands and invest in the Quivogne roller/air seeder combo.

Seeder

This piece of kit is ideal for the intensive cropping regime, which complements his Limousine and Angus breeding studs and the beef fattening and sheep farming components of his 486-hectare property. Having been both a contractor and a large-scale maize grower, Eric knows the value of investing in quality machinery.

The Van Der Veldens also recognise the value of growing crops to take the climate risk out of their property, as well as the benefits and increased yields new grass gives to the fattening operation.

Like any piece of farm equipment, justifying the initial outlay may be hard at face value. However, given the time constraints around sowing crops and grass, the timeliness of engaging contractors can be challenging, and this is where owning a machine can really add value to the business.

Eric wanted a machine that he could use for secondary cultivation and drilling, as well as being versatile enough that once the paddock had come out of kale or fodder beet (which makes up the bulk of his cropping programme), it could easily be transformed by sowing new grass.

Towing -away

The levelling paddles on the Quivogne Rollmot allow for a bit of contour work and the machine’s 5.3-metre-wide working width covers all the bases. Having purchased a number of other machines from FarmChief, the Quivogne Rollmot seemed like the logical choice, both for its features as well as the fact there is a local dealership in Palmerston North, with quality back-up service Eric has become accustomed to.

This machine is black and red, one of four sent to New Zealand after the All Blacks won the last Rugby World Cup. Although all other Quivogne machines are red, this one looks striking in the black and red combo.

A John Deere 6105M tractor is the main workhorse, so Eric couldn’t get something so big that it would be dangerous on the hills, but he needed the wide working width given that all work would be carried out by himself and his team. When you’re farming like this, time is of the essence and has a real dollar value.

The property has a unique situation with a variety of both topography and soil types. Some of the river shingle country is better for winter, while the peat is good for growing crops alongside the river silt, and the heavier clay country can be better for cropping in summer.

Not only does this allow a variety of crops to be grown but it also means stock can be grazed with minimal damage during different times of the year on the different
soil conditions.

Machine features

Rings

The 5.3-metre test machine has fluted Cambridge rings fixed on a 70mm shaft with an immediate floating breaker ring, which is sloppy on shaft. The ring design creates a firm but fluffy seedbed and leaves a ‘wonky’ finish that is great for windy conditions and means you don’t end up with a hard crust.

Instead, it creates a little micro-climate for the seed.Given the variety of soil types on the Van Der Velden’s property, the breaker rings are a real advantage, as soil condition sometimes may not be perfect. The rings stop it turning into powder and create a bow wave in the summer, and stop the soil sticking when conditions are maybe marginal in early spring.

Hydraulic folding

Preferred -option -1

The roller is mounted in three sections: one mid-section mounted to the transport wheels and two wings. The wings are first lifted out of the transport position and then the large down pressure rams unfold them. The transport wheels are then folded back, allowing the rollers and cracker boards to be moved and into the working position.

Levelling paddles

The Quivogne Rollmot design features the paddles lying down. This allows the soil to gently flow through them, rather than a more upright design, which, in some conditions, can allow too much soil to build up, and the machine then ‘jumps’ creating waves across the paddock.

Once in the work position, you can tilt the paddles into the desired position hydraulically with all three sets moving as one, identical across the entire working width. As these move through the ground, they create a shaking motion as well as a grading effect, which helps break up clumps to create a nice fluffy seedbed.

Contour following

The centre pivoting wing sections work like a centre pivot mower and follow the ground exceptionally well. This allows the downforce from the hydraulic rams to be at the maximum pressure, keeping the frame rigid while the wings pivot to keep consistent ground pressure across each of the three sections.

The rear section is purposely staggered, which reduces scuffing at the headland, as this rear section picks up any soil that has been pushed out by the wings or ripped up by tractor tyres to create a consistently smooth finish.

Air seeder

Main -pic -2

The 660-litre FarmChief (Krummenacher) air seeder allows seeding rates from 0.2 kg/ha to 150 kg/ha. The hydraulic driven fan gives consistent sowing rates, combined with ground speed metering off radar. For seed level, there is a clear sight panel in front of the hopper and a low seed warning.

Calibration is easily done from outside the machine with a neat chute and a seed tray. Hold the ‘prime’ button to meter out seed, punch in the seeding rate and calibration weight into the monitor and off you go. This opening also allows you to change metering rollers (if necessary) and excess seed can easily be emptied into a bag.

Rear

Distribution is via eight outlets, which are then split with ‘Y’ fittings at the paddles that turn into 16 spreading plates. You could argue that 16 outlets straight to the spreading plate is better, while others say halving the air at the end allows the seed to fall more gently to give an even pattern. It’s all down to personal preference I guess.

The only real gripe with the machine is the narrow platform for loading the hopper. Handrails would be a welcome addition, although, it is at a handy enough height to be able to throw bags up from the ground.

Cab -controller

Additional seeder features

  • Tapered hopper with agitator to stop bridging for even seed flow on all contours
  • Transparent seed level panel with low seed alarm
  • Easy calibration and excess seed dump with sliding chute at the base
  • Rubber mounted for shock elimination
  • Three dosing rollers for small seeds, medium seeds, and grass
  • Easy-to-use in-cab monitor with separate start/stop seeding button

Verdict

Seeder -1

These types of machines have revolutionised the roll-seed-roll concept. The design of the pivoting wings and the horizontal approach of the paddles makes the machine simple, versatile, and effective. It has a large working width with low power requirements, a narrow transport width, and the air seeder is easy to calibrate and straightforward to use.

Given the variety of crops and the different soil conditions the farm has, for the Van Der Valdens, the Quivogne Rollmot ticks all the boxes, with a single machine simplifying the operation while the wide working width covers the ground quickly, especially given that some of it is not flat.

Horizontal

Pluses

  • Front hydraulic levelling board’s horizontal design helps leave a smooth yet fluffy seedbed for the crop without creating waves across the paddock
  • Centre pivot wings allows constant and consistent weight over all three sections of the roller
  • Narrow 2.5-metre transport width 
  • Low power requirements compared to the working width
  • Air seeder is simple and easy to calibrate
  • Combination of tight (Cambridge) and loose (breaker) rings allow work in marginal conditions without creating a bow wave or soil sticking to the rings

Minuses

  • Rear loading platform is tight and narrow with no handrail (a wider platform is available)

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