Topcon: Precision controller offers unrivalled seeding accuracy

The Apollo CM-20 planting controller can be paired with an ISObus display to monitor and control the seeding of crops such as sugar beet and maize
The Apollo CM-20 planting controller can be paired with an ISObus display to monitor and control the seeding of crops such as sugar beet and maize.

LH Agro has announced the launch of the new Topcon Apollo CM-20 universal row-crop planting controller that enables growers to establish sugar beet and maize more accurately and with reduced seed wastage.

The fully ISObus compliant controller has a plug-and-play design that enables it to be retrofitted to most existing precision drills, and to be used with any ISObus compatible implement control console. It can monitor the accuracy of row-crop seeding operations in real-time and relay this information back to the drill’s operator so that any anomalies can be dealt with immediately.

“Accurate planting is the essential first stage of any cropping cycle, with the precise application of large seeds vital to the successful establishment and yield producing ability of row crops such as sugar beet and maize,” the managing director of Topcon distributor LH Agro, Richard Reed, said.

“The Apollo CM-20 row-crop planting controller enables growers to carry out this vital operation with improved accuracy thanks to its ability to monitor and control the placement of individual seeds as well as controlling the variable rate application of up to three additional granular products such as a starter fertiliser or micro and macro-nutrients.”

Topcon's Apollo CM-20 controller
Topcon’s Apollo CM-20 controller.

The Apollo CM-20 can control the function of up to 24 electrically driven seeding units and make on-the-fly adjustments to avoid seed wastage as a result of overlaps or misses at headlands or in the corners of awkwardly shaped fields.

“In addition to auto-section and variable rate control, the new controller’s biggest single advantage is its ability to monitor singulation and spacing accuracy and to ensure that each seed is dropped in exactly the correct position,” Mr Reed added. “This even includes at bends in the field where the CM-20’s turn compensation feature reduces the seeding rate towards the inside of the curve and increases it at the outer radius where the drill’s seeding coulters will effectively be travelling further and faster.

“This ensures all seeds are planted at equal distances irrespective of irregularities in field shape and helps crops to achieve their full potential by maximising crop uniformity for optimum light inception and to minimise competition between neighbouring plants.”

The new controller is also compatible with the Topcon Agriculture Platform (TAP) that allows seeding data and prescription mapping information to be relayed from the implement to the farm office and vice versa.