Why does Horsch hold ‘87%’ of the trailed drill market?

As phosphate is predicted to be running out efficiency of its use is becoming ever more important.

Combined drilling may have a roll to play in more efficient fertiliser use and this is something that machinery brand Horsch prides itself on. However, the method has come in and out of favour in this country over the years.

Horsch now has approximately 87% of the trailed seed drill market in Ireland, or so it claims. Jimmie Carver, regional sales manager with Horsch, spoke to AgriLand recently about the brand.

Horsch’s Sprinter 4 ST trailed drill

“In Ireland, Kelly’s of Borris and Horsch have approximately 87% of the trailed drill market. One of the main reasons is because we can place the fertiliser with the seed. It goes down the same pipe so that it is right next to the seed.

The seedling needs phosphate. Phosphate only moves at 0.2mm per week, so if you don’t place the fertiliser beside the seed the plant doesn’t get it for 30-40 days.

“By placing the fertiliser very close to the seed you lower the pH in that zone and a low pH makes manganese more available. Another advantage of combined drilling is this availability of manganese.”

Combined drilling has come in and out of fashion many times. Carver thinks that farmers stopped implementing combined drilling because of the logistics involved with smaller bags.

“It was mainly because of logistics. Years ago farmers were using 100wt bags. It was too laborious. When big bags and single hoppers came in it became a lot easier to handle.”

Meanwhile, an oil cooler fitted to Horsch’s drills helps to avoid the drills getting blocked as a result of moisture.

Older seed drills had individual seed rollers which blocked up with moisture. We have an oil cooler on the drill – a heat exchanger – which sucks warm air into the machine and keeps it dry.


The brand has increased in popularity over the past number of years.

“Horsch has only been in business since 1984 and some of our competitors have been in business since the 1800s. We are now one of the biggest cultivation equipment manufacturers in the EU.

Turnover has doubled in the last four to five years. We’re very lucky that we’re still expanding in a fairly tough market.

Why has the Horsch brand increased in popularity?

“We’ve driven non-ploughing systems for many years and I think that’s coming to our benefit now, because of the benefits to the soil – more soil organic matter, more fertility, less pollution and less erosion.

“This is being pushed by governments and we’ve been the pioneers of this for a long time, so that’s another reason why we’ve increased our sales.”

Horsch’s Express 3 KR seed drill