Great Plains trailed X-Press

Fourteen years after it was first launched, Great Plains’ X-Press cultivator has been given a major revamp.

The new line-up of mounted and trailed models has the same working widths as before and aims to give high-speed shallow cultivations with two rows of discs and a rear-mounted roller.

The main change is a new chassis that can take a range of new spec options without reducing trash clearance between both sets of discs and the rear roller.

Tubular steel wing sections mean the machine can handle increased torque loadings, says Great Plains’ head of UK engineering, Alan Davies, with trailed models using the tractor’s lower links for towing.

See also: Great Plains Spartan drill shows promise

The articulated headstock design also makes for a tighter turning circle and the long drawbar helps with wider wheel-tracks and dual wheels.

All new mounted and trailed X-Press units can have a levelling board, says the company.

This helps present the soil better for the following rear roller, makes a finer tilth and improves seed-bed preparation, says the company. That is particularly useful in secondary cultivation in a plough-based system.

The levelling board on mounted units is now manually adjustable while hydraulic adjustment from the tractor cab is an option on trailed units.

Depth adjustment has been updated to bring the X-Press in line with other machines in the range, with spring clip spacers now providing more choice for easier depth adjustment.

All the fresh models offer a choice between limited disc angling via three fixed settings and fully adjustable disc angling between 0 and 25deg.

It is currently carried out manually by a simple turnbuckle system, says the company, but the new X-Press models will now also offer hydraulically controlled gang angle adjustment from the tractor cab.

Disc blade choices have also been increased.

The familiar notched cultivation discs or SoilRazor discs – available in 508mm or 560mm diameters – can now be used with Turbo Coulter blades and other disc blade options are being evaluated. These are expected to appeal particularly to users who need to chop tough crop residues such as maize.

The Turbo Coulter blades are designed for operations where minimal disturbance is required and so have a fluted profile.

They give maximum cutting performance, says Mr Davies, but also need less down pressure.

Side deflectors are also available with the new X-Press range and are aimed at users on lighter soils who want to limit soil-throw from the discs.

The main use for the new range will still be in reduced cultivation systems, to incorporate stubble and to work down plough.

The new mounted X-Press models are available in 3m, 3.5m and 4m working widths with the new trailed units coming in widths of 5, 6 and 7m. The 8 and 10m models in the existing range will be retained.

Power requirement for mounted units (without ST Bar) ranges from 70-180hp and from 140-480hp on trailed models.

Great Plains gets precise with maize fertiliser

Great Plains says the new prototype AccuShot liquid fertiliser system on its Yield-Pro maize planters could cut input costs and minimise waste.

Unlike conventional starter fertiliser application methods, which dribble a continuous line of fertiliser next to or below the seed, AccuShot dispenses a predefined blob of nutrients with each seed.

Great Plains AccuShot liquid fertiliser system

Users can also control the application rate and input-to-seed proximity to suit their requirements.

Independent field tests suggest the system could give a net income increase of more than £36/ha for twin rows planted at populations of 79,000 and 99,000 seeds/ha.

The plan is that the first AccuShot equipped planters will be available in limited numbers from spring 2016.