Cousins of Emneth has designed a new crimper roller with helical blades to roll, break and bruise cover crops ahead of the drill.
The Crop Check outfit fits to the front of the tractor to allow rolling and drilling in a single pass. By pushing in the direction of planting, it forms the cover crop into a dense, weed-suppressing mat on the soil surface.
Chevron blades help to neutralise forces that may pull the tractor off its true course, says Cousins, and it eliminates the bounce associated with straight-line blades and the auguring effect of corkscrew blades.
As only a small portion of the twisted blade is in contact with the ground at any time, the full pressure of the roller is applied intensely to make a better job of breaking and crimping the stems for cover crop desiccation.
The blades themselves are designed to be blunt, as sharp blades can cut through the cover crop and into the soil, dislodging residue and increasing weed seed germination. Optional water ballasting can be used to increase weight, too.
Overall diameter is 660mm (26in) on a 460mm tube. It weighs 190kg/m; ballast adds up to 150kg/m.
The crimper rollers are available as a complete front-mounted machine to match a drill, or as custom-built roller sections to retrofit to existing Cambridge rolls or press frames.
A 3m section costs £2,850.