Germination and establishment in till-seeded oilseed rape crops can be improved using Opico’s new HE-VA Synchro Roller, designed to consolidate the ground and improve moisture flow only to the seeded area.
Opico’s MD James Woolway explains: “In damp conditions with friable soil, OSR germination is not usually a problem, as moisture is readily available to the seed. However, in dry autumns, good consolidation is critical as dew and soil moisture are the only water sources for the seed.
“So, to ensure that this moisture reaches the seed, both good soil consolidation and good ‘soil to seed contact’ are essential.
“In contrast, the areas in-between till-seeded OSR rows do not need to hold moisture. In fact, to limit weed and volunteer growth, it is better to leave them unconsolidated.”
The Synchro Roller takes all this into account and is designed so that the bands of soil down which seed is planted are pressed down with rubber tyre packers.
Sited in-between the rubber tyres are T profile rings which are of a slightly smaller diameter, so they only come into work when there are large clods sitting on the surface, or the field is uneven. So the ground in-between the rows is not pressed.
The T profile rings stay clean in wet conditions and prevent soil building up on the roller. The tyres are also designed to flex which keeps them clean so that they are equally effective in the wet as in the dry.
As the Synchro Roller is mounted behind the subsoiler when seeding OSR, the weight of the whole machine and down draft from the legs is effectively applied to 40% of the working width. This more than doubles the pressure used for consolidation in the seeded area and dramatically enhances the soil to seed contact as a result.
Mr Woolway adds: “The extra consolidation achieved with the Synchro Roller means it is less critical to roll after till-seeding OSR, however it is still recommended for best results.”
A 3m 5-Leg Shearbolt HE-VA Subsoiler with a V Profile Roller costs £9,462 + VAT, or with the new Synchro Roller, £9,905 + VAT. For more information and cost to retro-fit the Synchro Roller to an existing HE-VA subsoiler, call OPICO on 01778 421 111.
Cereals 2011 exhibitor information as supplied by Opico.