10 July 1998

Hes gotta lotta bottle for broadcasting clover

THERE is life for old bottles; looking for a simple way of accurately broadcasting clover seed 1.25kg/ha, Dorset farmer Mike Lemmey and his son hit on an original idea.

Using a Vicon Varispreader which manages to spread clover seed to a width of 3.7m (12.5ft) and adopting a forward speed of 6mph he worked out that to spread 1ha would take 16 minutes.

Taking one large plastic bottle and suspending it from a frame in the Vicons hopper Mr Lemmey made a hole in the cap which would allow 1.25kg to run out in the required 16 minutes – a trial and error operation.

Once this was achieved the bottle was filled and held in its non-flow position – simply by pulling a rope attached to its handle to raise it – and, when in the field spreading commences by releasing the rope to lower the bottle into a vertical position. The spreaders own aperture is left in the fully open position.

Mr Lemmey reports good results to the point that he has now employed the system to broadcast oilseed rape. Simple but sensible. &#42

Accurate clover seed broadcasting is a case of taking to the bottle on Mike Lemmeys Dorset farm. Note the simple but effective on-off control system.