24 May 1996

Gold for yield-mapper

By Andy Collings

MASSEY FERGUSON wins gold in part two of the Royal Agricultural Societys annual machinery award scheme. Silver medals go to Vaderstad, Simba, Moore Uni-Drill, Lely and Landmec.

It was MFs Yield Mapping System which was deemed by the judges to merit the prestigious gold medal.

"An important technological application capable of making a profound effect on the farming business," states the judges citation.

The early 90s saw MF develop the yield mapping system, with the first commercial models available for the 1992 harvest.

Precision techniques

Their launch marked the beginning of precision farming techniques, with other machinery manufacturers quick to develop equipment capable of capitalising on the information gleaned by yield maps.

Vaderstad picks up a silver for its Rapid 600P seed drill. Capable of sowing cereals, peas, beans and oilseed rape directly into ploughed and unploughed land, the judges were impressed by high work rates and the economic advantages the drill could offer.

In much the same vein, a silver medal was awarded to Simba for its Freeflow cultivator drill. Like the Vaderstad drill, it is a system which enables land to be sown with only minimal pre-drilling cultivation.

Such designs also offer in many cases, a cheaper alternative to the power harrow drill combination.

Still with drills, Moore Uni-Drill gets a silver for the Sportsfield drill which is designed for seeding grass in amenity areas.

Disc coulters are employed to create slits into which seed is placed.

"An innovative, and effective approach to the management and maintenance of sportsfield grounds and amenity areas," commented the judges.

Two developments in the big-bale department were deemed to warrant silver medals. Lely picks one up for the Welger Master Cut baler attachment which slices grass before it reaches the bale chamber.

Grass is forced through a bank of closely spaced, spring-loaded serrated knives with the result that more grass can be packed into each bale – and, claims the manufacturer, better silage made.

Caught judges eye

When it comes to wrapping square bales, the Landmec Tanco Autowrap 1050A caught the eye of the judges.

"A silver medal is awarded in recognition of its timely development and the contribution it can make to the effective ensiling of grass in square bales," the judges report.

RASEgold medal goes to Massey Fergusons yield-mapping system. MFwas one of the yield-mapping pioneers with first commercial kits available in 92. These included GPSnavigation and on-board monitor

This Landmec Tanco square bale wrapper was among the silver.