Cultivating Solutions' Rapidlift deep-tilling toolbar, which was first shown at LAMMA in January, seems to have caught farmers' imagination in a big way. The East Yorkshire business reports that there has been a lot of interest in the system, both from the UK and abroad.
The toolbar can be fitted to any cultivator drill and uses a long drawbar that bolts on instead of the original. The job can be done by the farmer himself and doesn't involve touching the drill. Equally, when the drill is sold, the original drawbar can simply be bolted on again.
Meanwhile, the soil-loosening legs are set at 500mm spacings and work down to 30cm maximum, with a parallelogram linkage system to keep them running level They are hydraulically raised and lowered in and out of work on the move and can be operated independently of the drill raise/lower. The whole toolbar folds for transport on wider models.
A total of 12 machines will be working this year, says Cultivating Solutions owner Richard Scholes, including 3m, 4m, 6m and 8m versions. Most of the interest is coming from big farms for drilling oilseed rape; they like the faster workrate, improved accuracy of placement and more level surface left compared to a subsoiler-based system. However, there's as much interest in using the toolbar for cereal establishment as for oilseed rape to replace some primary cultivation passes.
"Oilseed rape needs planting with a higher level of accuracy and precision than a subsoiler or cultivator-mounted seeder can offer," he says. "Equally, for those growers wanting a flexible approach to min till or 'full till' for drilling cereal crops, the RapidLift and drill can achieve this in a wide variety of conditions."
Users who want to put on a starter fertiliser dressing can also add the optional RapidStart kit. This involves putting a 1,500 litre stainless steel tank on the drawbar or frame with a nozzle behind the loosening legs or using a combined seed and fertiliser coulter that puts the fertiliser in a band alongside the seed.
Cost of the Rapidlift on-farm is about £13,000 for the 4m unit and £17,500 for the 6m. Moreover, units have been made for Vaderstad and Horsch drills so far. Mr Scholes says that the order book is full for 2012 but a full-scale production run is planned for 2013.