The Monosem MS vegetable planter is by far the best selling pneumatic planter for vegetables and other fine seeds in South Africa. Every year since Carrotech started marketing it in 2000 it sells in numbers by far higher than any other vacuum fine seed planter on the South African market.
Today there are more than 230 of these planters running in this country. They are used in every province, in the roughest conditions, right through the year, and they give their owners many years of good service without much maintenance.
- very sturdy and solidly
- very durable and low in maintenance
- highly precise and
- easy to adjust and to use
The Monosem company in France is Europe’s biggest manufacturer of precision planters. Monosem planters have been in this country for more than 30 years. Up to this day everyone who has worked with one or who is farming next to a Monosem owner knows :
There is no other planter that can match the precision of a Monosem.
They were the first and only precision vacuum planters that were available for maize, sunflower and other crops for many years after 1974. In 1988 Monosem introduced their new generation vacuum mechanism “NG” featuring major improvements that added to the durability and simplicity of the popular maize planter. In 1997 then, Monosem introduced their fine seed planter “MS” ( Mini Seed ) borrowing many components from it’s big brother, the NG which made the machine far stronger than you would expect a vegetable planter needs to be.
The “Version C” as a double row unit is the most commonly used model for onions, carrots, beet-root and other vegetables. It is designed to plant a 7cm double line of seeds with one seed metering unit. ( A 5cm double line is possible with a different seeding shoe.)
Each planter unit requires a minimum row distance of 20cm
Possible planter configurations :
Double row planter
Triple bed assemblies
Granular insecticide and dry fertiliser options :
The application of granular herbicide, insecticide or similar products is possible with the optional “Microsem” equipment . One 18 litre hopper needs to be fitted for max. two planter units. The Microsem augers that meter out the insecticide are highly precise and durable because the adjustment for the output is not done at their infeed nor outlet side but can only be set at the chain drive. By changing the gear ratio at the Microsem drive only, you can alter the insecticide output to the required quantity. 17 different settings are possible with the standard sprockets. Should you require more settings or finer adjustment additional sprockets are optionally available.
The application of Fertiliser is also possible with the MS planter but only if the planter is equipped with the heavier “Monoblock frame” that allows the fitment of a 250 litre or a 350 litre fertiliser hopper behind the Turbofan.
The planter unit :
The ruggedness of the Monosem MS planter body is really exceptional in it’s class. It is so solidly build that it can perform well in the roughest conditions.
The strong parallel linkage is holding the main carrier part upright at all times which ensures an even performance of the unit also in uneven terrain. The planting depth is set by the front wheel. By turning a knob (yellow arrow ) that screws the front wheel lower or higher the operator can adjust how deep the planting shoe will put the seeds into the soil.
Everything else that follows the planting shoe can swivel up and down independently following the soil contour without influencing the planting depth.
Two springs (red arrow) can be tensioned to transfer weight off the front wheel onto the intermediate press wheels (green arrow) or onto the rear wheel (blue arrow).
The intermediate press wheels (green arrow) are of utmost significance when planting. These extra heavy cast iron wheels run just behind the seed shoe and press the new seeds firmly into the ground to make sure there is good “seed to soil contact” and no air pockets remain underneath the seed that can hinder proper root growth later when the plants are young. The soils capillarity is also improved by these heavy wheels so that all the seeds get sufficient moisture to evenly germinate. Compared to other fine seed planters these intermediate press wheels on the Monosem MS really make a difference. While some competitors do not offer any intermediate wheels or if they do their wheels are much lighter the owner of a MS can be sure that his precisely planted seeds get a maximum chance of even emergence and growth.
The soil scrapers (black arrow) that follow the intermediate press wheels can be set to down pressure and height to cover the new seed with the desired amount of soil. Thereafter the wide rear wheels (blue arrow) add just the necessary re compaction according to the spring adjustment that was set by the operator.
The seed metering system of the Monosem MS fine seed planter
This brilliantly designed unit will give its owner years of pleasure because it is :
- highly precise and accurate yet
- easy to adjust,
- simple to maintain and
- very durable.
The most important requirement for every farmer who buys a new fine seed planter is PRECISION. His highest expectation is that the new machine will give him an accurate seed singulation and perfect seed placement in the ground so that he can get the “picket fence stand” in the field which will guarantee him a good yield as a return for his investment. The Monosem MS planter fulfills this expectation with ease.
Easy access into the metering unit :
Stainless steel seed disc :
The body of the metering mechanism:
The seeding shoe :
Unmatched accuracy :
The accuracy that is possible with the Monosem MS really sets it apart from any other fine seed planter model on the market. Inside the mechanism, seed scrapers align the seeds to the holes in the seed disc and efficiently eliminate all doubles without creating any skips. As the disc turns all the seeds that are sucked to a hole have to pass multiple edges of the seed scraper and are stirred just enough that only one seed remains on every hole. By setting this lever to a more or to a less aggressive position you can easily make sure that your Monosem planter plants 100% accurate, pip by pip, every meter of it’s way.
Whether the seeds are big or small, flat or round, coated or uncoated, you can be sure a Monosem will always pick up seed. Thanks to the high air volume that is created by the Turbofan and the slow turning seed disc with larger holes than most other fine seed planters will have this MS planter will always suck seeds on the disc, in most cases it will pick up more than one. The secret for success has thus not much to do with the vacuum but with the fine adjustment of the seed scrapers. An easily accessible lever on the outer side of the Monosem metering mechanism is used to adjust the height of the seed scrapers. While the lever has a wide range of settings the seed scrapers move only a tiny little bit when you set the lever far over from an aggressive position to a non aggressive one.
But the Monosem MS planter is still easy to use. Once an operator has found the setting of the seed scraper that gives him best results on the first planter unit that he calibrates he can set all other planter units to the same setting without calibrating them individually. In the Monosem factory in France all seed metering boxes are not only manufactured and machined with greatest care and precision they are also tested and calibrated with accuracy.
After calibrating every seed metering unit carefully a Monosem technician puts a mark and a sticker onto each unit so that the operator has a common “zero” mark to work from. On the right picture there are six metering boxes all set to the “zero” position. However their levers do not seem to be in line between the yellow arrows they are all set the same. Because of the common “zero” mark the operator of a MS planter can be sure that all seed scrapers aligning tiny seeds to even tinier holes will wipe off the unwanted doubles to precisely the same aggressiveness on all planter units if he has set their levers to the same setting.