Cereals 2013: Cousins of Emneth launches low-disturbance ‘Oil Drill’

The intriguingly named Oil Drill was attracting plenty of attention on the Cousins of Emneth stand.

It’s a trailed set-up designed for OSR establishment, using 10 winged tines working as deep as 150mm to loosen the soil in strips. The tines are led by a cutting disc, which is individually mounted on a rubber suspension unit and chops through trash to minimise the disturbance caused by the tine. Rape seed is applied directly behind the tines and can be combined with a micronutrient if necessary.

Razor rings trail at the back to press the cultivated and seeded area back into place. This should ensure that seeding depth is kept near constant and there’s minimal moisture loss.

The Oil Drill disturbs less than 20% of the soil surface, says Cousins, so power requirements are significantly reduced compared with more intensive establishment systems.

Also, because the majority of the seed-bed is left undisturbed, fewer weed seeds are likely to germinate. Field trials conducted by Cousins suggest reduced numbers of charlock, cleavers and volunteer cereals in test crops.

The Oil Drill is currently only available as a 6m machine and has a £40,000 price tag.

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