Pöttinger showed off its latest cultivation innovation at its Austrian base, Grieskirchen, last week. Jane Carley was there.
You might think that cultivator makers would be running out of new ideas when it comes to getting the ideal layout of tines, discs and packers, but there are always new improvements to be tried.
Austrian firm Pöttinger, for instance, has revised its Terradisc design and added the 1001 series as a mounted rigid version.
A new twin-arm system uses a wide clamping bracket to hold the pairs of arms, so the angle of the disc remains constant and it is not pushed to the side in heavy soil, allowing hardened wheel tracks to be broken up.
The design also allows the discs to be mounted further from the arm, avoiding the risk of flints jamming between them, while four rubber elements in the mounting bracket provide overload protection.
Discs are thicker and are also 13% larger in diameter at 580 mm – all designed to add wearing life.
Shaun Groom from Pöttinger UK says the extra rigidity also ensures a level finish, which is especially relevant if preparing land for rape or stubble turnips.
"A level seed-bed is increasingly important," he points out. "Not only for accurate seed placement, but with 36m sprayers becoming more common, to ensure safe handling of the wider booms.
The Terradisc is also flexible enough to be used for one-pass seeding, Mr Groom suggests. "On the continent, farmers are often obliged to establish cover, so it is commonly used with a seeder fitted, and the Terradisc would be a good option for UK farmers wishing to plant catch crops," he says.
The new rigid models come in 3m, 3.5m and 4m working widths and power requirements are from 95hp. Working depth is adjusted from 3-12cm via the hydraulic remote valve on the tractor.
Synchro stubble cultivator
The Synchro stubble cultivator (pictured above) gets a new frame with the main beams angled towards the pulling point. This, says Pöttinger, gives added structural strength, which reduces the amount of steel used and cuts machine weight by as much as 12%. Under-frame clearance has also been increased for work in trashy conditions.
On auto-reset versions, the triggering pressure has been increased to 500kg a leg, minimising the risk of so-called "phantom tripping".
Adjusting the depth of the rear roller and levelling discs is now done by using a pin-hole system at the front of the unit, avoiding the risks associated with climbing over machines. The weight of the rear roller – the pack-ring model is the most commonly specified version for UK conditions – can also be transferred to the tines to boost penetration in hard conditions.
Models are from 3-6m working width with the Nova specification offering overload protection.
Mr Groom says: "The Synchro produces a 'corrugated' effect, which gives good drainage. It has proved a popular machine, especially in the 6m size, which needs 220-240hp, but the 5m version is within the reach of even more purchasers as it can be pulled by 180hp."
Pöttinger in the UK
Pöttinger has established a new UK subsidiary at Corby, Northamptonshire, under the management of Shaun Groom, previously brand manager at importer LandMec.
The 1.7-acre site, which includes 1800sq m of warehouse space, will be Pöttinger's parts and whole-goods base for the UK.
"As a subsidiary, we can be more competitive and offer improved parts supply," says Mr Groom. "We will be able to fulfil most parts directly from Corby, which will also act as our training base for dealers and customers.
"Pöttinger UK is aiming to be in the top three suppliers of grass and tillage equipment, and we are looking for a 15% market share with most of our product lines."
On forage wagons, the company already outstrips this, claiming 60% of the market.