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It may sound great to reduce the crop establishment time from say 70 minutes per acre (173mins per ha) to 35 minutes per acre (86mins per ha), but the trick is to turn that time saved into cash.
We as an industry are in danger about getting excited about the production economics and forgetting about the second part - profit and cash in the bank.
Reducing a cultivation pass only reduces the variable cost such as the diesel and only labour if it is in overtime - the large cost of ownership of the machine is still in the business.
I think that lo-till can help reduce costs, but can only economically be introduced when a worker retires and is not replaced or when a machinery syndicate is formed to fund the new equipment.
Otherwise, overall savings are unlikely.
From:Gary Markham, Grant Thornton
For Lo-till we purchased a Ford FW30 of mid 1980's vintage. Yes it was old, but had low hours and was mechanically sound. We were due to replace one of our Ford FWD 7840's at the time anyway - the resale value of the 78 was enough to buy the FW and some new tillage equipment. The FW is hardly breaking into a sweat doing the tasks that worked the 78's hard. Thus we think we can factor longer life cycles for our remaining 78 and turbocharged 56 FWDs. We have certainly saved through not deciding to purchase a new 'conventional' tractor.
Where we believe real savings can be achieved is by combining low-till with early drilling if conditions allow. You have to get the right variety, seed rate and time of drilling - where this is possible, lower seed costs and greater resilience to slug attack could provide significant savings
We have tested and will be using a challenger 75 e on a 3 metre simba solo cultivator. the 55 will pull it but struggles on steep slopes which we have a lot of. So i would of thought you would be fine with a drill on the back. a local contractor that has done some work for us in the past pulls a 6m JD no till drill behind a 7810 JD and a 8400 JD. both pull it well. obviously the 84 pulls better having a bit more ompphh.
having tried all makes and models for the solo the challenger is by far the best tool. initially we opted for a MX270 but have since sold it due to traction problems. however in its defence it pulled it better than the JD 8410 and Fendt 926. In my own personal opnion i think its very difficult for a wheeled tractor over 220hp to perform well. there is to much power trying to get out through such a little footprint. this is where the crawlers come into there own!
It has worked for us,
Two years ago we tested a prototype cultivator called the Solo from simba - the 3 m version. subsequently we purchased and have had one complete season with it. OK we have picked up a lot of contract work for it but as far as home is concerned it has saved us about £10,000 in establishment costs. No need for the plough, subsoiler, power harrow etc etc etc - the list goes on and on. saved on time, fuel, labour, wear and tear etc etc. Our land is quite heavy so if we plough we have to pound it to create a decent seedbed. We did not get onto it very early and it still worked. It enabled one person to carry on working when harvest had finished while two people had a holiday!
I was as concerned as you probably are now, but having seen it work well here - I dont think there will be any going back for us. The ploughs and power harrow combi have seen there days. To slow and expensive for no extra yield!
So what's the point in sitting in a tractor seat for more time than is required? By going to min till you are able to look at other areas of work such as consultancy etc. Its seriously worth thinking about and you dont need new kit to do it. A modified set of old discs would suffice if you've got any.
Have seen article about Walton Agric.Eclipse bale stacker,will it be at LAMMA?
There does not appear to be a window of opportunity for arable / mixed farmers to spread manures on to stubble between harvest and autumn planting. This will not allow fertility to be enhanced by 'organic' means and will equally lead to greater applications on to grazing land. Is this wise, as it may lead to re-cycling of animal diseases?
Where have you seen the article so that I may check.
Thank,s for your reply
What was wrong with the 926 and where about,s in the uk are you.
Good Point, Rupert, and one I wonder whether DEFRA have fully taken account of.
Another one is treated sewage sludge. Will it be permitted to be spread on arable stubbles if the whole country is an NVZ?
If not, will we have to turn back the clock and dump it in the North Sea again?
Well said Sir, my sentiments exactly. Dick Lindley.
Many thanks for the feedback - with regards milk quota prices, they will be back in place on Monday. Apologies but we didn't manage to reinstate everything from the old site on Friday when the new site launched.
With regards 'why fix it if it ain't broke' - the old fwi site was largely based upon a development that was completed about three years ago. With the increase in internet use over this period we have had to redevelop the site to accomodate for this increased activity. We hope the new development will pave the way for numerous new services and features, and overcome any access problems people may have experienced.
I hope that in the coming weeks we can not only reassure you that any previously provided services will still be available but also that you will appreciate the new services (including this discussion group) that are planned for the new site.
[Mr Lindley - glad to see you found the discussion group and I Look forward to further contributions]
You should be able to select your default weather either based upon your postcode once you have confirmed registration details, or by going to the weather section of the site and selecting nearest town/postcode.
In Jan 2002 edition of Farm Contractor & Large Scale Farmer
Lee, send me your email. We have sent some tackle to the UK. I am at email@example.com. Regards, Jim
Hello Lee,I am a farm manager in Canada and would be pleased to find and arrange to send equipment at any time.
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