23 June 1995

Packing punch on the land

SALES of land packers are booming, as heavy land farmers continue to look for the best method of seed-bed preparation, following the straw burning ban.

Some favour the low cost, minimal cultivation route – others the plough. Those turning over heavy soils need a secondary cultivation which speeds up and reduces the cost of any subsequent operations, says John Cousins of Cousins of Emneth.

"Power harrows are still used on heavy land, but they can be expensive to run. Two passes over ploughed land with a heavy packer reduce the work for the power harrow or any other following cultivation. The consolidation also helps with slug control on land where chopped straw has been ploughed under."

Mr Cousins says sales of the Cambs-based firms Packarolla twin-row press have doubled over the past year. "Farmers have invested in bigger tractors. Theyre now looking to match up their secondary equipment."

Latest addition to the Packarolla range is to offer a tined bar option, which is mounted in front of the first row of press rings.

The upright tines enhance the presss cultivating effect, and level the surface without peeling up deeper, wet soil.

Depth control of each tine is set independently, so those behind the tractor can be lowered for wheel mark eradication. Specifying a tine bar adds £1680 to the price of a 4.8m (15ft 9in) wide Packarolla (£11,120).