Cereals 2014: Machinery for root growers on show

It may be called the Cereals but at this year’s show there are dedicated areas covering sugar beet and potato production where new and improved machinery will be on show, as Peter Hill reveals.

Garford Robocrop

Garford Farm Machinery is now producing its Robocrop precision-guided inter-row hoes in triples – one on the front, two at the back – with working widths up to 18m giving a spot work rate of more than 20ha/hour at 12kph – a significant step forward in output for growers wanting to apply the benefits of mechanical weed control on a large scale. Also, the new tine raiser system means hoeing can continue where rows converge without leaving stretches uncultivated. The imaging guidance system analyses 30 frames/sec to keep the hoe blades on track in sugar beet, multi-line carrots and narrow-row cereals. Garford’s InRow M2 rotary blade hoe – which removes weeds between equally-spaced plants – also had its performance raised from three- to four-plants/sec.

See also: Read more news from this year’s Cereals

Grimme Primus irrigation reel

A stronger Primus 110-500m hose reel from Grimme Irrigation Systems should further improve reliability while remaining simple to operate thanks to a computer control system to aid start up that can be updated in field. Grimme says all of its irrigator chassis are built to last using extra thick materials and oversized hydraulic rams. An extra wide and strong hose guide section should also minimise breakdowns. Updated computer software and a new storage winder for the lay flat hose will also feature.

Tong Peal Caretaker cleaner-grader

The latest version of the Tong Peal Caretaker potato grader features the new Auto-Touch HMI control system as an option with EasyClean separating so that the individual adjustments needed for different crop cleaning requirements can be selected using a simple touch screen in one go. The EasyClean system has an electric motor on every shaft to provide readily adjustable speeds for effective cleaning and gentle crop handling. The Caretaker also comes with inverter direct-driven motors to improve energy efficiency by as much as 50% over conventional drives. The grader can be customised to suit individual requirements, handling up to 60t/hr over the in-feed hopper, presentation conveyor, cleaning system, easy grade screen module and inspection area.

Briggs irrigation pump

Modifications to Briggs Irrigation pump sets should make them more difficult to steal and resist diesel fuel theft more effectively. For the latter, a lockable galvanised fuel filler cover is now standard on all models, while a removable drawbar is a simple but effective way of deterring theft of the pump itself. Camouflage may also help so the sound-deadening cover now comes in NATO green as an alternative to traditional Briggs blue and other colour options to help blend into the countryside. A further option – an electrically-operated valve – shuts off the outlet when the engine is not running to prevent water siphoning away in the event of a pipe leak when pumping downhill.

Grimme Rexor 930 beet harvester

A “walking share” system has been developed as an alternative to hydraulic-drive Oppel wheel lifting for the six-row Grimme Rexor 620 and 630 self-propelled sugar beet harvesters, and the six- to nine-row maxi version. The walking share has a single oscillator a row and its working speed is infinitely adjustable to ensure gentle lifting with reduced soil content. The single row depth control in combination with hydraulic stone protection also helps to reduce soil contamination, says Grimme, which in turn cuts reliance on the harvester’s cleaning units.

ROPA Panther beet harvester

A self-levelling system to help maintain even distribution of weight and beet across the cleaning mechanisms features on the latest ROPA self-propelled beet harvester being shown by the Root Crop Systems arm of CTM Harpley Engineering. The Active Stabilisation System uses four hydraulic cylinders (two per axle), sensors and computer control to automatically keep the harvester level when working across slopes. Improved alignment, beet flow and unloading are benefits, along with optimum traction from the latest Michelin CereXBib Ultraflex technology tyres fitted front and rear, which can run at a lower pressure for a larger footprint than alternatives. Touch-screen control, ultrasound sensors that help fill the 28cu m tank evenly and the latest topper and lifting design also contribute to efficient performance.