Avatar SD North America

HORSCH LLC. News | Avatar SD North America

The Avatar 8-12 SD, 40-60 SD, and the 60 MD are unique in the market. The 1-bar design does not only provide advantages in terms of operation and maintenance, but this system can also score from an agronomic point of view. Below, we will delve into the most significant points.

Why is a 1-bar design easier to operate?

Due to the sophisticated folding system of the Avatar SD, and MD lines, quick and straightforward unfolding and folding is possible without getting off the tractor.

Furthermore, the 1-bar design of the machine ensures a perfect accessibility to the seed elements. There is no need to climb into the machine as all seed elements are perfectly accessible from the rear. This allows for an easy and comfortable adjustment of the seed depth and the pressure of the closing wheel without any tools.

Another characteristic of the 1-bar design is the lower horsepower requirement. As the weight of the seed cart is transferred to the seed bar, the seed cart does not sink as much and therefore is easier to pull.

What makes the Avatar maintenance-friendly?

The SingleDisc seed disc is maintenance-free and does not require any lubrication. Thus, setup times are significantly shorter. 

Thanks to the large taper roller bearings, high forces can be absorbed, maximizing durability. Additionally, the connection of the seed opener is designed for maximum service life; the 8,6” wide connection, supported by rubber cords, can withstand enormous forces. The wide connection prevents any wearing of the connection points.

The 1-bar design of the machine does not only significantly enhance usability but also offers enormous agronomic advantages.

But what does the 1-bar design have to do with agronomic benefits?

Due to the 1-row layout, each seed row is treated equally, i.e. there is no stepping effect. Thus, the seed placement is significantly more precise in depth and even in spacing compared to 2-bar machines. But why is this the case? The answer is in the operation of the machine. Let's look at a 2-bar machine: in this case, soil is moved by the first row which then ends up in front of the second row. The second row also moves soil which then ends up again on the first row, creating a wave-like pattern and causing uneven seed coverage. This effect, of course, intensifies with increasing speed.

With a 1-bar design, this is not the case, as each row moves and covers the same amount of soil. The even seed coverage is the basis for an even emergence and ultimately for maximum yield.


While in crops like sugar beets and corn, the distribution in the standing area has a significant influence on yield formation, branching or tillering crops like cereals, rapeseed, or soybeans can compensate well for gaps. Crop management aims to maintain the plants' own compensatory ability. This begins with the selection of the right varieties and seed rates, ensuring a proper seed depth, and extends to fertilizer application based on tillering as well as to avoiding unnecessary growth regulator measures.

Wheat yield can be roughly determined by three factors: the number of ears per ft², the number of grains per ear, and the weight of the grains. Together, these parameters determine the yield. Depending on the variety, a deficiency in one parameter can be compensated for by the others. Genetically, types with a high crop density tend to produce smaller ears with lighter grains and compensate for this with many shoots/ears.

For yield levels up to 90bu per acre, the decline of one parameter (crop density, ear size, thousand grain weight) can easily be compensated for by the others or has little significance.

For yield levels up to 130bu per acre (an average annual range), fluctuations in crop density can still be well and easily compensated for. For example, crop densities of 28 ears/ft² can be just as sufficient for a yield of 120bu/ac as densities of 65 ears/ft² - provided that ear size and grain mass are appropriate. Crop density can, in turn, be influenced by various measures. Seed rate in combination with seed depth play the most crucial role. They determine how vigorously each plant tillers and forms side shoots. Variety selection and seeding time determine the range within which tillering can occur. Early varieties and late sowing limit the plant's scope. With the timing and the amount of the initial spring fertilization, you can also react to the past development in autumn and winter. If the winter was long and cool, a slightly higher initial dose can further stimulate plant growth to produce additional tillers by the end of the growing season. Growth regulators, azole fungicides, and foliar fertilizers are additional, small adjustments to direct crop density in the desired direction. With the onset of long days, winter cereals start the stem elongation. During this stage, we can actively intervene in the development of the ears... 

At yield levels exceeding 150bu per acre, the leeway for these three parameters becomes significantly narrower. The individual plant yield increases, and crop densities decrease. With a yield of 180bu or more per acre, with a 10” row spacing, we are reaching the limit of what the plant can compensate for. The wider the row, the more importance we attach to the development of the ear and grain weight, and the fewer tillers we can establish per ft². The mutual competition among wheat plants within the row increases the more tillers we want. If we want more plants instead of beautiful ears and heavy grains, we need to reduce row widths and competition within the row by adding more rows. Some varieties require high crop densities, and straw yield is also higher with many tillers. Regarding drought tolerance, nutrient efficiency, and yield stability, thinner populations are superior to those with many tillers. Plant health and quality parameters are also better, especially with thinner seeding. 

As the larger row spacings can be compensated for by crop management, from an agronomic point of view, the SD opener gains more and more importance in regions with a focus on wheat. The additional advantage of better depth control and the associated improved emergence even lead to significant yield benefits in heavy, dry sites.