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Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

Last post Sun, Jun 3 2012 20:20 by old mcdonald. 29 replies.
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  • Wed, Oct 5 2011 13:29

    • Peter Wells
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    Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    Just taken delivery of a new slitter from Richies. Too dry to do anything yet but has anyone any  tips on whether it can help when liming or much spreading. The tines/blades can be angled up to 10 degrees and so will have a bit of a decompaction potential.

    Comments please.

  • Wed, Oct 5 2011 14:24 In reply to

    • bovril
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    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    I don't know anyone who has tried one and not been pleased with it. My view (on clay) is that as long as you can load the weight on it and get it to penetrate, it's never too dry!
  • Wed, Oct 5 2011 18:28 In reply to

    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    Same experience as bovril really. All who buy one have noticed the difference. Usually use it in the sutumn. (Tend not to get the dry issue down here though). As for the lime and muck spreader, would go over after they'd been through to try and lift their compaction out.

    "Dogs look up to us, cats look down on us, but pigs treat us as equals." (Sir Winston Churchill)
  • Thu, Oct 6 2011 0:09 In reply to

    • topdog
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    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    Is it ever too wet to use one? apart from the obvious time when u struggle to get on the land that is? Someone round me hires one out n I was going to get it then it rained quite heavily so I didn't in the end.
    "There is no good flock without a good shepherd and no good shepherd without a good dog"
  • Thu, Oct 6 2011 8:23 In reply to

    • Kol
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    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    I've had one for a year but it's been too dry all year. You can't really see the difference in results, you need to measure it. We went to an EBLEX day recently where they had slit one side of an electric fence and not the other. You could see the difference in the soil. The aerated side was much less compacted and root development was much better, more worms etc etc. Whether it works depends on where your compaction is. If compaction is on the surface, which it might be with animals on clay (like us), then it should work. But if the compaction is deeper, then you'll make matters worse using the aerator because it'll not be doing the job you want and you're driving over the land again. PS we bought the water tanks as well.
  • Mon, May 28 2012 21:18 In reply to

    • topdog
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    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    Hows your land look now Peter? I just used one today on 20 acres so hope it is successful!
    "There is no good flock without a good shepherd and no good shepherd without a good dog"
  • Tue, May 29 2012 14:50 In reply to

    • Peter Wells
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    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    Funnily enough I was only looking at one field last evening that had been half done to show a difference, if there was one.

    I am happy to say that the half that was slit at about 5 degrees of angle is about 6' of grass as opposed to 4' on the half that was not done. I reckon the density is better also. (I am now persuaded of the benefit of slitting/aeration)

    For weight I used a railway sleeper and 100kg of tractor weights.

    Finished shearing this morning and so will now merely potter around for the rest of the day and evening.

     

  • Tue, May 29 2012 17:49 In reply to

    • Dick
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    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    Peter. I have never used one but I had wondered if it would be feasible to broadcast grass seed after using this machine to rejuvenate worn out pony paddocks without ploughing them out. What do you think??

    Dick

  • Tue, May 29 2012 20:49 In reply to

    • Peter Wells
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    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    Dick:
    wondered if it would be feasible to broadcast grass seed after using this machine to rejuvenate worn out pony paddocks without ploughing them out

    I think yes. with the obvious thoughts about weather. I think if you spiked with an angle to get some lift and them broadcast grass with a light roller behind, you would get good results on pony paddocks which, I guess are fairly firm and flat?

    Stuart Meikle will also have some comments on this as he spoke to me shortly after my first posting with some very good ideas he had had.

     

  • Wed, May 30 2012 8:18 In reply to

    • Dick
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    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    Thanks Peter, I will try this at September.

    Dick

  • Wed, May 30 2012 13:08 In reply to

    • Peter Wells
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    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    Dick just another thought. Given that the paddocks are quite small, and if they have bare patches you may want to rough up the ground with a chain harrow a bit prior to spiking it. What do you think?

     

  • Wed, May 30 2012 15:47 In reply to

    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    Peter, an interesting point about chain harrowing in front. I just had a chat with our local grass seeds supplier and they seemed concerned that broadcast seeding behind the aerator alone would not get the seeds sub-surface. I am trying to explain that the key task is breaking up the top 10cm (which we know is a massive problem here), adding some seeds is secondary. The alternative is a slit-seed operation (I have used a Vredo here) but that is very pressure focused and to my mind does nothing about the compaction other than making it worse. I used a Vredo for three years here and came to the conclusion we wanted a different solution. When it stops raining we will try the aerator-seeder combination with a roller on the back to consolidate the seed and soil together. A good-chain harrowing ahead as you say may actually make the soil conditions better re. soil-seed contact.

    As an aside, we have a nice Fiona cereal seed drill here which we can mount behind the aerator as well - Ritchies made up a very nice 3-point linkage for the grass seeder - it may make a combination - seeder for cereals on small areas - I think the Canadian company Aerway do something similar with a double row of aerator tines. It is all about making a little investment go a long way.

  • Wed, May 30 2012 15:54 In reply to

    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    Dick, this is what Peter mentioned:

    http://www.highland-agriculture.com/farm-machinery/grassland-machinery/aerator-seeder/

    I plan to put a fixed draw-bar under the seeder next to tow a roller to give some consolidatation around the seeds, but not so much as to negate the aeration.

    I think we will try Peter's idea to chain harrow in front. I was thinking of integrating a chain harrow into the whole but it makes more sense to do what Peter says as I am trying to integrate tools together which can also be used independently (ie a 2.5m aerator, a 2.5m seeder, a 2.5m roll) but a 2.5m chain harrow is a little too narrow for independent use, at least here where we are looking at more than a handful of acres.

  • Wed, May 30 2012 18:24 In reply to

    • mursal
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    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    The after harrow shown in the above link use what we call Reekie tines and are ideal for shallow work.  If you are making  your own frames 2, or even 3 rows (75mm spacing) will give good results before and or after broadcasting. Good forward speed also helps.

    Don't think you have to cover grass seed, as long as it makes contact with good topsoil?

    Soil fertility will also make a difference, so a few bags of P & K might be worth considering

     

  • Wed, May 30 2012 21:50 In reply to

    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    As a farmer who has moved into sports pitch and golf course work l have read this string with interest.

    Farming is catching up with the amenity industry!!

    Aeration is one of the key features of good grass growth, together with fertility and pH.

    On sports pitchs and golf courses we use slitters, spikers and power operated bladed machines to creat the air voids needed in the soil profile to help good root growth.

    ln the past we have used drop seeders to overseed, but have found that too much seed did not germinate as it does need a bit of soil cover.

    On large areas we now use tined seeders, an Opico with a pneumatic seeder and an Amazone with power operated tines and a drop seeder behind, they both work well if you can creat a small amount of tilth.

    The problem with all these machines is they do not place the seed into the soil, the only way you can really ensure a good germination.

    This week we are trying a  disc drill on 40mm spacings to overseed greens and teeing areas on a golf course.

    This machine should put the seed about 5mm into the ground, be interesting to see how it performs.

    Both industry's are after much the same result, improved growth, better resistance to drought and wear, and the requirement to improve the grass species  present in the sward,

    We can learn from each other! 

  • Wed, May 30 2012 22:16 In reply to

    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

     To be honest I don't think an aerator would create enough tilth to sow seeds in dense pastures, unless that is you did two or three passes in different directions. We have had good results with an Einbock harrow with a fanjet seeder in open pastures, post silage, providing the weather is wet enough. It isn't nearly as successful in dense sheep pastures. I think in such cases an Aitcheson / Duncan / Unidrill type machine would work far better. I'm thinking about getting a contractor in to do a couple of fields as an experiment.

  • Wed, May 30 2012 22:19 In reply to

    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    mursal:
    Soil fertility will also make a difference, so a few bags of P & K might be worth considering
     

    Don't forget the PH. Also it will need grazing hard both pre and post seeding until the seedlings start to emerge.

  • Wed, May 30 2012 22:19 In reply to

    • old mcdonald
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    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    Totally agree with boveyfarmer - especially about actually having a small covering of soil on the seeds. Many years in several countries supports this theory. Press wheels are something I have always shied away from, and never regretted it, including a newly made maize seed drill trialled over a couple of acres a fortnight ago. We can never stop learning. I make most of my own equipment and just wonder how much these machines cost. Can anybody come up with some numbers for the items shown in the threads above?

    For a bit of depth as a poor man's subsoiler, I merely made up a frame of angle iron and set 20mm(3/4") x 100mm (4") tines in it. A 2" scarifier tine on the bottom and sink it as far as it will go. Cheap and nasty, but it works. Put wings on and it does a bit of a lift too. Chain a plug behind the bottom and you might be able to mole drain, although I have no need to try that.

  • Thu, May 31 2012 8:11 In reply to

    • Dick
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    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    Thanks for all the information, I will now look for a second hand Richie Slitter and try the rejuvenating of a few worn out paddocks. I am think of including a high proportion of clover seeds as the horse ladies become very anxious if they observe nitram being applied as it may hurt Neddy.( or so they think)

    DickYes

  • Thu, May 31 2012 8:14 In reply to

    • henarar
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    • zumerzet

    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    We use to have a hunters strip seeder done a lot of work with it but It was not very reliable and hard to work on but we did have very good results from it with anything from clover to direct drilled wheat

    I had a demo aitcheson and that seemed ok

    we dont plough much when we do the seed is spread with ferti spreader or fiddle and just rolled, dad use to say you cant roll grass seed to much so go and drive around till your fed up with it

    I wouldnt think a slitter would be much good for reseeding I have used a pasture harrow and put a electric brodcaster on the front of the tractor this is ok in the right conditions

     Spray the weeds if you have some slit the ground and the grass will come back good sometimes anyway with no need for the grass seed that isnt cheap

  • Thu, May 31 2012 8:37 In reply to

    • mursal
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    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    henarar:
    or fiddle and just rolled
     

    Thought the EU banned Fiddles back in '72 on Health and Safety grounds........... Wink

    Are they still available, and if so where?

    Even a lend of one, as we don't have that much to do. Just a few corners where we cant get the Vicon in.

  • Thu, May 31 2012 8:41 In reply to

    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    Dick:
    I am think of including a high proportion of clover seeds as the horse ladies become very anxious if they observe nitram being applied as it may hurt Neddy.( or so they think)
     

    DON'T! Whether horsey people understand the issues with nitrigen and clover I am not entirely sure, but high quality grass leys with increased levels of protien, (what you and I would considder good quality grass) does cause our equine companions to get laminitis, which, in very bad cases, means the end of the road for Dobbin!

    Keep the clover out and cut the Nitrogen back by 15-20%. Think along the same lines as this if you are growing hayledge for horses. Check pH regularly and lime accordingly. Horses are notorious for pulling pH down. Ensure any new grass seed mix is perrenial rye grass and Timothy. It's quality (or lack of it) not quantity where Horses are concerned I'm afrad.

    Horsey people are shocking when it comes to grassland management. They will keep two or three horses on a one acre paddock, not put any inputs on it what so ever and then wonder why they end up with no grass. 1 horses = 1 acre. You will have to educate them on stock and grassland management Dick. Whether they will listen is another question. They do know it all remember!

    "Dogs look up to us, cats look down on us, but pigs treat us as equals." (Sir Winston Churchill)
  • Thu, May 31 2012 12:40 In reply to

    • henarar
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    • zumerzet

    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    mursal:

    Thought the EU banned Fiddles back in '72 on Health and Safety grounds........... Wink

    Are they still available, and if so where?

    our one we have had for ever,I only used it a few weeks ago to do an acre or so, The job was do in less time than it would take to put the spreader on

    i dont no if you can get them new they would be cheep an nasty anyway, I could have bought you a good one at a sale a copple of weeks ago

  • Thu, May 31 2012 12:59 In reply to

    • henarar
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    • zumerzet

    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

    mursal:
    the EU banned Fiddles

    The eu can ban them if they like but they will not stop me when I want a fiddle I will have one and its no odds to no one elseBig Smile

    anyway I think fiddling is very healthy and as safe as you make it

  • Thu, May 31 2012 20:31 In reply to

    • old mcdonald
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    Re: Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)

     mursal, Cannot remember the details but I have seen one advertised that operated the same as a pto driven spinner (ie one way) through a gearbox and a rotating handle for the drive. Try Googling.

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