Cereals 2015: 8 machinery highlights from the show

Convoys of gleaming metal and glass converge on Boothby Graffoe, Lincolnshire, this week (10-11 June) for the annual Cereals event.

We pick out a few of the farm machinery highlights.

Alpego combi drill

Alpego combi drill

©Jonathan Page

Combination drills don’t get much bigger than the bespoke rig Alpego had mounted to the back of a Versatile 550DT.

The eye-catching 8m combi is fresh out of the Italian factory and heading for a 570ha farm in Suffolk straight after the show.

Two AS1 hoppers are mounted to the tail of the four-track crawler, which hold a combined 2,800 litres of seed above a pair of Alpego-made, stainless steel metering units.

Having two meters helps keep things accurate with such a large quantity of seed being sent to the coulters.

The rear power harrow hangs from the Versatile’s three-point linkage and folds to 2.5m, which keeps it tucked well within the width of the tractor on the road.

Two 4m disc sections trail the power harrow and run on rubber blocks, though it’s also possible to hoist the coulters in the air while the power harrow tines stay in the ground.

Demounting the rig will take roughly an hour, says Alpego, and the asking price is a cool £90,000. 

See also: 6 tools to keep your grain store clean this harvest

Czech Farmet cultivators come to the UK

Farmet cultivator

©Jonathan Page

Farmet’s bright blue cultivators and drills are familiar faces at major European machinery shows.

But despite the maker’s popularity on the Continent it has never quite made it to the UK. Until now that is.

Impressed with the design and build quality of the Czech machines, Essex firm J Brock has decided to start importing and selling them alongside its existing cultivator line-up.

Initially Brocks plan to bring in five machines, one of which will be the Diskomat 5.

This is spookily similar to Lemken’s popular Rubin disc cultivator with a twin row of large-diameter sprung discs doing the legwork.

The machine is designed to rattle along at speeds of 10-15kph, which means it throws up a decent amount of soil and trash.

To sort this out Farmet has fitted levelling/spreader boards behind each set of discs and there’s a packer at the pack to finish the job off.

All the main adjustments are hydraulic with colour-coded shims for depth setting.

The 5m trailed version costs £27,950. There are also 6m and 8m trailed versions available as well as 3m and 3.5m mounted machines.

Expect to see more machines including drills in the next year or so.

Plowman Cam Lift Leg

Plowman Cam lift leg

©Jonathan Page

Yorkshire engineering firm Plowman Brothers has come up with a clever system to take the tedium out of lifting subsoiler legs out of work.

By removing one quick-release shearbolt the new Camlift leg can be swung back and locked into the raised position without inserting any other bolts or pins.

To get it back into work again the operator just lifts the leg slightly, flicks the cam lever and it drops into position. The shear bolt is then reinserted. 

The Camlift leg is available on the maker’s Omni Lift CL subsoiler, which is available in various configurations.

The one pictured is 3.5m wide and fitted with the new Camlift legs at 650mm spacings. Price is £13,700. 

Dalbo 12m rolls with crackerboards

Dalbo 12m rolls

©Jonathan Page

Farmers shelling out for a pricey set of rolls are starting to expect them to do more than just consolidate seed-beds after drilling.

That means more and more people are looking to add crackerboards so that they can be used as a secondary cultivation tool too.

These level out the ground and help remove undulations as well as generate some tilth for a weed seed chit.

To help satisfy this demand, Danish maker Dal-bo has started to offer crackerboards on its heavy-duty 12.3m rolls for the first time.

These are split into five banks and each has independent depth and angle adjustment.

Depth is handled via manual turnbuckles, but the angle adjustment is on a spool valve so that the driver can make them more or less aggressive depending on the ground conditions.

The 12m Maxiroll costs £39,000 and a full set of crackerboards adds £7,800.

Carre Penterra

Carre Penterra

©Jonathan Page

French manufacturer Carre made all the headlines earlier this year when it launched its own farming robot at the Sima show.

Unfortunately for punters at Cereals the Anatis robot is still in France undergoing more testing, but filling its place on the Carre stand was a new trailed cultivator.

The Penterra uses five rows of well-spaced tines to loosen the topsoil while keeping the trash flowing between the legs. At the back there’s a soil-on-soil packer to press the ground without forming an impenetrable crust.

See also: Read all the latest news from Cereals 2015

The standard set-up uses turnbuckles to adjust the working depth, but you can order hydraulic rams if you prefer to keep your hands clean in the tractor cab.

Trailed versions range from 4-12m, with a 6m priced around the £28,000 mark.

Perard Interbenne 46

Perard Interbenne

©Jonathan Page

Perard’s latest Interbenne load-lugger made its UK debut at the show. Measuring in at 12.5m long and 12t empty, the French manufacturer claims it is the biggest chaser in Europe.

Capacity is 46cu m, so it should carry roughly 35t of wheat when brimmed. Unloading takes under two minutes thanks to a 700mm auger, which replaces the 550mm version used on smaller Interbennes.

Triple axles are part of a standard package that costs the thick end of £80,000, while you can have Sly-built tracks for an extra £40,000. 

Claydon 8m Hybrid T drill

Claydon Hybrid T8

©Jonathan Page

Suffolk drill maker Claydon chose Cereals to show off its new 8m Hybrid T drill. It is the big brother to the 6m and should help boost the company’s already healthy export sales to some 27 different countries.

It is obviously aimed at big farms and needs a tractor of about 400hp to do justice to the job.

Daily output should hit the 70ha mark and, as with the company’s other drills, can happily go straight into stubble as well as into min-till or cultivated land. It folds to 2.85m for transport.

The tank holds a capacious 5,500 litres, equivalent to about 4t of seed and fertiliser, and has a 60:40 split.

Removing the separator plates turns the drill into a grain-only unit. CCTV cameras lets you see what is happening at the back and under the drill.

Kubota M8540N Power Crawler

Rubber tracked Kubota M8540

©Jonathan Page

Case-IH may have gained a lot of publicity from its Rowtrack rear tracks, but it is not the only one to be using the format.

Japanese tractor maker Kubota was showing its 85hp M8540N Power Crawler for the first time at Cereals (though it’s not strictly new) and says that it’s proving popular for specialist farms.

Low ground pressure and robust traction are good points and the relative narrowness of the machine is said to be a benefit.

One small downside is that the fifth gear is taken out so max speed is 20kph on the road rather than the usual 25mph. Cost is £38,500 on-farm.


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