French farmers, like their UK counterparts, are increasingly opting for wide cultivators and speedy drills to get the job done. So it’s no surprise that the Sima show was the place to see them in large numbers this year.
Sky Tine Cultivator DDE
Sulky’s min-till and direct-drilling offshoot Sky was showing off its first tine cultivator at Sima.
Sky says the main selling point of its Tine Cultivator DDE is its four rows of coil-sprung tines, which allow plenty of space between them for trash to flow and avoid blockages. The chassis is also 840mm off the ground to stop straw building up underneath it.
For shallow cultivation work the legs can be fitted with wings to give a decent level of soil disturbance. For deeper cultivations the wings are removed and the legs can drop down to a maximum working depth of 30cm.
There are four models of the trailed cultivator available from 5-9m and there’s the option of a solid DD-type packer or a double U-shaped roller.
Gregoire Besson Reflex
Gregoire Besson revealed a raft of new machines on home turf. For a start, the company has trimmed the fat on its most popular Discoflex cultivators, which has seen them each shed more than 1,500kg of excess bodyweight.
It has been achieved by ditching a lot of the old box-section framework for tubular equivalents that provide adequate strength without the weight.
Less bulky springs and bearings also reduce weight and clutter, while bearing housings are smaller than before and should help improve trash flow through the discs.
At the back, the old, cumbersome three-point linkage has been replaced by a slimline parallel linkage to carry the rear press.
The lighter weight 4m, 5m and 6m versions are now badged as Reflex models and require significantly less pulling than before – 250hp, rather than the 350 horses needed by the outgoing versions.
Elsewhere, Besson also launched new trailed versions of its tined Crossland cultivator.
Narrow 230mm-spaced tines, rather than the 300mm offered by most rivals, means the Crossland should be capable of shifting the same amount of soil without the incessant demand for more horsepower.
Alternatively, you can pull a wider cultivator with the same tractor, says the company.
Agrisem has rejigged its range of disc cultivators that will rip stubbles at up to 18kph – if you can hold on to your hat. You’ll need some grunt up front as well – 250hp should do the trick for the new 9.1t, 7.5m version.
There’s also a 9m model, and they both carry a leading row of 660mm discs to tear up the soil, before smaller 610mm discs do a tidying job behind. All the discs ride on pigtail tines, which protect the frame from the shocks associated with blatting up and down stubble fields.
The biggest head-scratcher for the Agrisem designers was keeping the transport height down. They eventually settled on a system that sees the 9m Disc-O-Mulch riding at the same height as the existing 6m version.
You can expect to fork out in the region of €55,000 (£40,000) for the 7.5m or €68,000 (£50,000) if you want the bigger 9m.