Guide to key mole drainers and cultivators at Cereals

New cultivations and drilling equipment from domestic manufacturers are set to dominate the working plots at the Cereals event, as implements in new and established ranges alike are put through their paces.

First-timers on the working area at the end of the showground opposite the Syngenta Sprays & Sprayers arena are Agri-Linc, J Brock & Son and TWB Engineering.

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They line-up alongside Claydon, Mzuri and Sumo showing growers the features of their seed drills, while Sumo is also putting its cultivations tackle to work, joined by Dowdeswell flying the flag for plough-based tillage.

Potato equipment manufacturer George Moate will also demonstrate its cost-saving Tillerstar one-pass seed-bed maker and stone/clod separator.

Wet weather events that reminded growers of the value of maintaining well-drained soils for timely land access and thriving prompted Agri-Linc to demonstrate its mole draining ploughs.

“It’s something that has been overlooked to some extent over the past decade,” says Ben Whyles of Agri-Linc. “But there has been greater interest in drainage maintenance equipment like mole drainers.”

The Lincolnshire farming business G Whyles & Son has traded in farm machinery since the mid-1970s and later became established as a nationwide distributor of wearing parts. It adopted the Agri-Linc name to distinguish the machinery operations about five years ago.

Mole drainers

Proforge mole drainers come in single beam mounted and trailed formats, and in a twin beam trailed configuration, to suit different tractor sizes. Like all such implements, they are designed to form a channel through soils while creating some fissuring to provide a path for water to reach field pipe drains back filled with a permeable material.

Proforge-2-leg-mole-plough

“We have two notable features – the serrated disc ahead of the leg that cuts through trash to prevent material building up in front of the leg, and a high-clearance leg mounting bracket,” says Mr Whyles.

“This also ensures there’s plenty of trash clearance, allowing material to flow around the leg and reduce the risk of the beam lifting or tilting.”

The large diameter – 2.5cm – notched disc also has the benefit of minimising soil heave at the surface, he adds, and is adjustable to suit conditions.

Pitch adjustment for the 1.52m moling leg is also included to help penetration in more difficult conditions and to ensure even wear of the bullet and expander. Working depth is adjustable in 1in increments by pin and holes – and in addition to the leg being reversible, the beams have replaceable skid plates.

A wide wheelbase for stability and a central bracket for single-leg conversion are additional features of the trailed two-leg Multimole.

High-speed cultivator

Agri-Linc will also mark its entry into the cultivation sector with the Proforge Inverta, a high-speed disc and packer cultivator.

There are six models – 2.7m and 3m rigid, and 4m, 4.5m, 5m and 6m folding, in either trailed or mounted formats, with the trailed models easily converted to mounted form if required.

They are designed for high-speed, low-cost residue inversion or for creating stale seed-beds using two rows of 560mm (22in) serrated discs mounted individually to the frame for maximum trash clearance

Agri-Linc-Proforge-Inverta-4

Another contender for high-speed disc cultivation – the Proforge Inverta from Agri-Linc.

There are rubber wedge packer and steel ring packer options to consolidate the resulting tilth and so encourage a chit of weed seeds and volunteers while conserving moisture. A hydraulic front levelling board option is available on trailed models.

The multi-stage cultivator shown at last year’s Cereals event by J Brock & Sons will be in action on the demo plots this year as the flagship of a new range of heavy cultivators, which will be supplemented by implements from the Farmet range that the company is to import.

“The decision to start making our own implements stems from having produced several unique one-off builds for customers,” says Mr Brock. “After many years of experience studying, repairing and modifying machinery, we felt well placed to make our own-branded range.” 

The Brock Super Till 530 is a heavy-duty disc, tine and packer trailed cultivator designed for deep, one pass primary cultivation. It has the novel feature of different elements being mounted on rails with clamps holding them in position.

Apart from allowing different disc and tine set-ups, this arrangement allows accurate positioning for optimum spacing and balance, says Mr Brock, regardless of the type and working order of the different cultivating elements.

“It means we can build implements to different configurations and it would be feasible to change things on-farm if one set up wasn’t working in a particular season,” says Mr Brock.

The Cross Consolidator is another Brock trailed implement but this time for use on cultivated land.

It features two rows of blade rotors arranged at right angles to the direction of travel to push crop residue into the surface and consolidate the soil into cross ridges. The following drill coulters break through these ridges, tilling loose, weathered soil as they do so for good seed coverage.

A patented internal scraper system is designed to avoid a build-up of sticky soil and a telescopic drawbar enables the implement to be towed behind a tractor or cultivator.

Ring rollers and a low-draft subsoiler with rear packer are also envisaged for the Brock range.

TWB Engineering

Terry Birch’s TWB Engineering is another farm-bred tillage equipment business taking to the Cereals demo area for the first time after a successful static first showing in 2014.

Core products are the TWB trailed subsoiler range, which has grown from a 3m three-leg implement to a 6.5m 13-leg unit catering for tractors up to 600hp with other sizes in between.

TWB-Twin-Leg-Magic-Mole

A twin-leg version of the TWB Magic Mole drainage plough at work.

The Magic Mole range of beam-type drainage ploughs is the other core product; they come in single-leg mounted and trailed formats, and twin-leg trailed configuration. The skid design is said to allow the leg to fracture and crack the soil without leaving excess surface disturbance.

“Further down, the bullet and expander form a stable mole channel, with the beam ensuring a smooth gradient by evening out small surface contours and irregularities,” says Mr Birch.

TWB’s quick-release locking tabs, including the shear version that performs the same function as a shear bolt, hold the leg in place, with shims providing leg angle adjustment and depth set using a pin and holes arrangement.

Expansion into cultivators saw the introduction last year of the Terminator combination implement with subsoiling tines followed by discs and a pressed steel packer.

A couple of customer projects have followed, including a re-arranged Terminator with provision for precision seeding units mounted across the back, and the trailed OSR Drill.

The latter is purpose-built for oilseed rape crops and uses tine coulters to cope with heavy ground rather than the more common disc openers. A plastic wheel set behind each coulter and set by a notched and spring-tensioned adjuster provides individual depth control.

The coulters are set behind a series of cultivation elements, comprising a row of plain discs, deep soil-loosening tines and individual ring packers – one ahead of each row – with the coulter assembly attached to the packer mounting frame.

While the discs ere orientated straight ahead, they are mounted on pivots to allow deflection around stones. Their primary role is to cut through chopped straw and other surface trash ahead of the tines.

Transport wheels and a steel packer complete the implement.


Cereals LIVE

We may not be able to meet face-to-face in Cambridgeshire this year, but we really wanted to support the industry by delivering Cereals Event online – so welcome to Cereals LIVE.

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