CULT IVAT ION AND T ECHNOLOGY Miedema surprises friend and foe with new C They have finally done it! Miedema has developed a new potato planter. It is their very first machine manufactured under its own name: the Cup Planter (CP) 42. This means that the Hassia is definitively a machine of the past. We had a preview at the drawing board to see what primeur would become reality at Interpom. F riend and foe all agreed that the Hassia planting machine has had its day. Though Miedema had altered a few things in recent years, this was not enough to keep ahead of the competition. Hence this completely new machine – with which the manufacturer wishes to take a step forward. The developers have carefully looked at the current status of technology in field trials with the various models that are presently for sale. They have also listened very carefully to potato growers during its development, says sales manager Guido Mangnus. Top of the list of requirements was improved spacing in the furrow and secondly, a simple mechanism to adjust the proper planting distance. What we learnt first was that Miedema has not stopped at honouring those two wishes because on a number of points, the machine excels at brilliant novelties where planting technology is concerned. Longer planting belt for improved singling To begin with, the Miedema CP is a planter with a completely new design. There is still the dual cup belt, but there the comparison ends. Firstly, the cup belt is longer and thinner. Because of its length the potatoes can be individually spaced over as long a distance as possible. That distance is the vibration distance of the cup belt, above and below the vibrator. The longer the cup belt is, the more time for ‘doubles’ to roll off the cup. Even when the planting speed is high, the vibrator does not need to vibrate so intensively any longer. If over-intensive vibration should lead to misses after all, a check is included that can lead to a signal or a correction. The new Miedema CP signals misses with optical sensors. They can be set to the size of the seed potatoes in the slotted hole of the holder. A major step forward compared to the mechanical misses detection technology. As a result of the extended reception line and improved vibration, the planting capacity has also increased. The cup belt is longer and thinner. Its length means that the potatoes can be singled over as long a distance as possible. No jammed potatoes as a result of proper guide track The CP 42 planting belt is driven by a big roll on top, and a small idler below. The purpose of the small idler below is to ensure that the planting cups turn back quicker, because of the short turn, wich in turn ensures that the planting potatoes fall into the planting tube more evenly, resulting in more accurate planting. The lower end of the planting tube – there are two special guide plates – which make that each potato drops exactly in the planting furrow. It is also quite clear that Miedema wishes to put behind forever the problem of the jammed and exploding potatoes at the beginning of the planting tube. In the centre of the cup belt, an efficient bananashaped partition has been installed in the middle of the cup belt, which guides the potato neatly into the cups. In addition, the shape of the planting tube has been adjusted to the cup shape. Miedema has elected not to use an adjustable inner wall for change over from large to small tubers, but have opted for two different cup types: large(green, plus 50 mm) and fine (yellow, minus 50 mm). The large cups can be fitted with cup 34 Potato World 2009 • number 1 Pagina 33

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