25 September 1998

Drill debut and cheaper spares

Good weather and a vast

array of equipment helped

bring in the crowds at

Normacs Cultivations 98

event held at Swaffham,

Norfolk. Ian Marshall was

there to report

GROWERS are now, more than ever, acutely aware of a need to reduce establishment costs.

That was a detail not lost on the large number of visitors and exhibitors at last weeks Cultivations 98 event – the biennial demonstration organised by the Norfolk Farm Machinery Club.

More than 2500 visitors swarmed over the 100ha (250 acre) site at Swaffhams Lexham Hall to evaluate and compare some of the latest drilling and cultivations equipment at work.

Vogel and Noot used the event as the working debut for a range of pneumatic drills now added to its product line.

Called the Pneumadrill, the seven-strong range is available in three versions: three point linkage mounted; in combination with a Niemeyer power harrow, or as a front mounted hopper/rear toolbar combination. Working widths are from 2.5-8m (8-26.6ft).

Hopper capacities range from 750-1500 litres and the drills use a central Accord-type metering unit and distribution mechanism, with seed rates adjustable from 1.5-360kg/ha (1.3-317lb/acre).

Electronic tramlining is standard and the control unit also monitors and displays functions such as working speed, area covered, blower rpm and seed tank level.

Prices start at £5955 for a 2.5m three point linkage mounted model fitted with Suffolk coulters.

Not all growers are looking for a daily drilling output of 40ha (100 acres) and Bexwell Tractors took the opportunity to show an economy drill/power harrow combination it describes as suitable for the 80-160ha (200-400 acre) light-land grower.

Comprising an 84hp four wheel drive Zetor 7341 coupled to a power harrow mounted 3m (10ft) Sulky SPL pneumatic drill, complete with fluted roller seed metering mechanism, the price of the whole outfit is quoted by Bexwell as £31,000.

Staying with prices, Cousins of Emneth announced it is taking on the alternative parts manufacturers and has cut the price of its earth working parts. Points and wings for its V-Form soil loosener are now £10 and £8 each, a drop of £7 and £4 respectively.

"We have cut margins and dealer discounts to enable farmers to buy genuine parts at competitive prices," says John Cousins. "Although we feel we have always been realistically priced, we were losing out to alternative suppliers." &#42