Test: Väderstad Tempo F8

Farm Trader test-drives the Väderstad Tempo F8 to discover that it performs in all conditions and packs plenty of punch even on hill country


The Väderstad Tempo F series is a high-speed precision planter that has made a dominant mark in the country over the last decade. We test-drive the TempoF8 to discover that it performs in all conditions – no-till, mini-till, and conventional tillage.

Many design and user interface improvements have been adapted since the early models, which is why Väderstad continues to thrive in every field.

While there are multiple configurations available, the eight-row F8 proves to be the most popular and also happens to be the largest model in the F series.

Väderstad is renowned for producing incredibly accurate high-speed planters and currently holds the world record for the most area of land planted in 24 hours. Although this was set by the bigger L series, the F series certainly packs a punch in for a smaller planter.

A well-established agricultural machinery manufacturer (in the business of manufacturing equipment for more than 60 years), Väderstad produces high-quality machinery, from cultivation and tillage equipment to drills and precision planters.

Four lifting wheels keep the machine uniform


The Tempo planter is suited to plant maize, sunflower, beet crops, and an array of other seed types on any terrain. A 70-litre seed hopper on each row unit takes a full bag of maize seed (plus more), which supplies a solid nine hectares of planting (rate dependent).

Accompanied by an optional 1700-litre fertiliser hopper, this proves to be a substantial size for the tighter and steeper Waikato areas where a number of contractors run these planters.

Transport width of three meters means road transport is within legal requirements and manoeuvrability is reasonably good.

A number of factors influence the horsepower requirement, such as terrain and PTO or hydraulically driven fan. The hydraulic fan option has the option of hydraulic down pressure, which enables control of the down pressure from the cab. The added benefit does come at a cost of high hydraulic demand from the tractor, and some may struggle.

ISOBUS controls the tractor’s GPS settings

Our test planter was fitted with a PTO-driven fan that doesn’t take much power to run at all. This set-up uses springs to keep the down pressure even on each row unit over all terrain. It works well in conjunction with the four transport wheels, which are connected in a hydraulic bogie unit to essentially give the machine a walking tandem.  When operating on flat ground, the horsepower requirement is only 140hp.

A 17-litre micro granulate hopper is also an optional extra, which gives the planter the ability to apply smaller products such as slug bait. This can prove time-saving in potentially avoiding having to send another machine back to apply later.  


Having become a common sight in paddocks around the country in recent years, a variety of changes have been adapted to improve the quality of the job at hand. Up front in the series of improvements are the fert coulters and disc system.

The original design had two extension springs to apply pressure. These have been replaced by a single compression spring along with a cast bracket. This improves the reliability of these discs and allows more foreign material to flow through the machine providing a cleaner job.

The row cleaners have also had some attention in the mounting front. They now sit on a small parallelogram with a depth setting adjustment. Being on a parallelogram, the cleaners are more likely to pass over large solid objects, such as rocks and stumps, avoiding damage to the machine while leaving an even uniform job.

All hydraulics and electrics are neatly routed

A new closing wheel design also gives the operator the ability to adjust the angle of the wheel along with the pressure. Allowing the planted crop to have the best start possible is a great advantage in yield and emergence.

For leftover seed, Väderstad has introduced a seed chute on each row unit to drop all the excess seeds out. The transport wheels do make it difficult to
get to some of the chutes, but generally, there are only small amounts that need to be removed.

A fertiliser auger has also been added in recent years to accommodate the larger fertiliser bags that loaders cannot lift into the bin, along with bulk fert straight out of trucks. It’s a bit time-consuming to use, but it’s necessary. One thing to watch with this new addition is not to knock your head on it when adjusting the row unit (yes, that’s from experience), as it rather hurts.

Test time

Coupled up with a Fendt 722, the Väderstad was a breeze to pull on the flat ground. When faced with hills, it managed reasonably with a full load of fert, which definitely weighs the machine down.

Set-up of the machine is done through the Väderstad e-services on the iPad control. This control software allows the iPad to be removed from the tractor and brought to the calibration areas to be done at the location of the metering units. This removes any impurities in the calibration procedure to ensure the accuracy of the machine.

The fan snorkle is a more recent addition

The E-Services software connects the planter, tractor, and operator together to seamlessly provide accurate real-time information and notifies the operator of the smallest imperfection. Being accurate enough to tell you while calibration how many doubles and skips it will have while planting is an impressive feature and allows the operator to make the necessary adjustments before starting.

A late feature allows each row unit to be set at a different population rate if required. This proved to be useful when planting sweet corn in two separate rows. Two rows were set at a lower population than the rest of the planter.

The fertiliser calibration is simple and achieved in about five minutes, which minimises the set-up time at the start of each job. The unfolding mechanism is controlled by both the iPad controller and the tractor’s hydraulics. This ensures accidental folding doesn’t occur. Once unfolded, a set of pins is required to lock the toolbar in a fixed position. While it’s simple and fail-safe, a hydraulic system would be a great addition to save multiple trips in and out of the cab to remove and re-apply pins between field movements.

Adjustable row cleaners on a parallelogram

The planter we had on test had the sprung-down pressure system, and on the lowest setting, it provided great even pressure on each row unit to ensure an even seed depth in cultivated ground. An array of adjustments is present to allow versatility in setting the planter up for any situation. Whether it be no-till, strip-till, or into full cultivation methods, having the ability to adjust fertiliser coulter depth, row cleaner aggressiveness, gauge wheel pressure, seed depth, closing wheel pressure, and angle gives the operator the ability to adjust each individual element to ensure seeds are getting placed in an optimum seed bed.

Seed spacing

Accurate and even seed spacing is achieved through a positive air pressure system. Each seed is picked up by a rotating seed disc, held in by air pressure, and rotated past three individual singulators to knock off any excess seeds.

Once the seed tube is reached, air pressure is cut off, so the seed accurately falls into the tube where air is re-applied to transport the seed into the soil at a rapid rate. The stop or press wheel then stops the seed at the correct position in the soil.

Vibration, slopes, and gravity are removed from the variables list to provide extreme accuracy. The seed meters are electrically driven by a variable rate motor. The radar mounted on the drawbar provides the ground speed information for the controller to give each row unit the correct speed to place the seeds accurately.


Being electrically controlled, GPS row shut-off tractors can shut each unit off separately so overlap on the headland ins and outs is avoided. This eliminates potential yield losses and provides each plant with the right amount of land area to thrive.

Performance overview

The F8 tempo has enormous field efficiency. Having the ability to plant at a higher speed allows it to keep up with much larger planters that have the hindrance of limited manoeuvrability and require a much larger tractor to pull such a machine.

This well-designed Väderstad helps keep input costs down while benefiting from an area-efficient machine. Ideally suited to dairy farm paddocks due to its size and manoeuvrability and for the fact that loading is simple. The machine is compact enough that most farm tractor loaders can easily load half-tonne fert bags – all of which help keep things rolling on time-constricted days.


The E-Services control through the iPad is second to none that I’ve used before – it’s extremely clear and user-intuitive. The only bit that’s difficult is trying to push buttons on the screen while in a rough paddock (such as marker arm buttons). However, the Väderstad iPad case has physical buttons to accommodate this.

Having multiple seed disc sizes to accommodate any seed keeps accuracy at a top level. With the ability to put big area numbers through a smaller planter, it’s no wonder the Väderstad Tempo is becoming increasingly popular throughout the country.

Väderstad Tempo F8 specifications

Number of row units 8
Row unit spacing 700 to 800mm
Seed capacity per row unit 70L
Fertiliser capacity  1700L

Recommended working speed

10 to 17kph
Max coulter pressure 325kg


  • iPad E-services
  • Very accurate
  • High-speed planting
  • Easy pulling


  • No central seed choice

Find new and used farm machinery for sale in NZ 

Photography: Dan Reymer

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