Know How / Cultivation and drilling

News and user views on the latest cultivation techniques to optimise crop establishment, minimise environmental impact, improve soils and reduce costs through direct drilling, minimum tillage, conservation tillage – as well as traditional ploughing and drilling techniques.

Latest cultivation and drilling articles

TECHNOLOGY

Video: Low-cost tool offers alternative to post-harvest spraying

A novel Aussie-designed mechanical weed-seeking tool is set to go into commercial production this year, offering growers a non-chemical, less weather-dependent alternative to pricey stubble spraying regimes. The Weed Chipper…

CEREAL DRILLS

Low-input cropping slashes costs and risk for tenant farmer

After years of struggling to make his conventional arable rotation pay, a tenant farmer has begun trialling a system that rewards him for environmental gains rather than bumper yields. John…

TECHNOLOGY

How moisture-seeking drilling kit helps drought-hit Aussies

A new drilling outfit developed in Australia is using clever moisture-sensing tines to automatically alter sowing depth according to soil conditions. Moisture Planting Technologies (MPT), based in New South Wales,…

CULTIVATORS

Lamma 2020: Cultivation kit unveiled

Several cultivator launches took place at the Lamma show. Notable unveilings included a new Cousins Top Disc, He-Va’s dark-liveried Stealth subsoiler and Grange Machinery with wider versions of its subsoiler…

CEREAL DRILLS

Driver's view: James Grandy's Amazone drill

Yorkshire farmer James Grandy runs through the good and bad points of his Amazone Cayena drill and how it has slotted into his establishment system. What drill are you using?…

Cultivation and drilling reviews and tests

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CEREAL DRILLS

Driver's view: John Hawkins' Simtech T-Sem drill

Simtech’s T-Sem no-till drill uses a disc and inverted T-shaped coulter to establish a crop without the need for any prior cultivation. We visit Dorset farmer John Hawkins to see…

MACHINERY

Maize drills - what's on the market

The tediously slow job that used to be drilling maize is being transformed by a new generation of machines that work with precision at much faster speeds. Peter Hill reports…

MACHINERY

12 no-till drills on show at farmer-organised demo day

Reduced-tillage drilling continues to gain popularity as farmers look for new ways to improve soil structure and reduce cultivation activity during the autumn. With that in mind, hundreds of growers headed…

CEREAL DRILLS

Driver’s view: Sky Easy Drill

Cambridgeshire grower Edward Davison picks out the best and worst points of his Sky Easy Drill, which he bought in 2016 when his crop yields were hammered by a high…

CEREAL DRILLS

Driver’s View: Jean-Baptiste Bady’s Claydon Hybrid 3m

Estate manager Jean-Baptiste Bady and farm manager Callum Orr, who run an arable operation at the world’s most northerly castle on the small central island of Shapinsay, Orkney, have picked…

PLOUGHS

Six-furrow plough round-up: Specs and prices

If you thought the UK plough market was limited to a handful of well-known brands, think again. We suss out six-furrow offerings from 11 makers. For an implement that took…

TILLAGE-LIVE

Tillage-Live's top cultivators and drills put to the test

Visitors to last week’s Tillage-Live event were treated to another September scorcher as the mercury touched 30C at Monks Kirby, Warwickshire. Here Farmers Weekly’s Machinery team presents some of the latest cultivators, drills…

CEREAL DRILLS

Driver's View: Steve Heard's John Deere 750A drill

Leicestershire farmer Steve Heard imported and assembled his own John Deere no-till drill – he gives us his verdict on how it has performed, what he most likes about it…

MACHINERY

Combination drill buyer's guide

Combination drills Host implements Buyer's Guide Min-till, strip-till and no-till may be all the rage but the once ubiquitous combination of power harrow and piggy-back seeder still retains a place…

CEREAL DRILLS

Driver’s view: Swithin Waterer's Sly Boss drill

Swithin Waterer of Halstead, Essex, explains why he opted to go no-till with a Sly Boss drill. He tells us how it has performed, what he likes best about it…

CEREAL DRILLS

Driver's view: James Grandy's Amazone drill

Yorkshire farmer James Grandy runs through the good and bad points of his Amazone Cayena drill and how it has slotted into his establishment system. What drill are you using?…

CEREAL DRILLS

Driver’s view: David Bird's Primewest Cross Slot

Suffolk grower David Bird gives his verdict on the performance of the Primewest Cross Slot no-till drill. Find out how it works, its good points and what could be improved.…

Cultivation and drilling insights and practical advice

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CULTIVATORS

6 ways to improve autumn soil cultivation regimes

Many operators can be guilty of pulling the cultivator out the shed, heading to the field and cracking on with ground work, with the only parameter of success the sight…

ARABLE

Top stubble management tips to kill slugs

Cultural methods of controlling slugs have a key role to play in reducing the risk of metaldehyde slug pellets reaching water, as well as helping to cut the costs of…

TECHNOLOGY

Video: Low-cost tool offers alternative to post-harvest spraying

A novel Aussie-designed mechanical weed-seeking tool is set to go into commercial production this year, offering growers a non-chemical, less weather-dependent alternative to pricey stubble spraying regimes. The Weed Chipper…

CULTIVATORS

How, why and when to mole drain

Soggy fields, ruts deeper than your wellies and bubbling water from broken drains are all telltale signs your field drainage could do with a boost. It’s only in a wet…

PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

Why no-till is profitable despite having a yield penalty

As machinery costs are the main driver of arable profit, no-till farms can afford to produce 1t/ha less wheat than their more conventional counterparts. Speaking at the Groundswell event in June, accountant…

CEREAL DRILLS

How to fit a fertiliser kit to a John Deere drill

John Deere’s 750A drill is recognised as being one of the longest-serving no-till seeders used in Europe today. Other smaller manufacturers from around the globe are working hard to grab…

EVENTS

Latest high-speed disc cultivators set to work at Tillage-Live

Designed primarily for shallow cultivation of stubbles, the short disc cultivator, has become an increasingly popular farming tool – and so the makes, models, features and options available have multiplied. Underlining their appeal,…

CEREAL DRILLS

Spanish-made Virkar Dynamic adds to no-till drill options

The continued concerns over the future of key chemicals and the knock-on effect for those operating zero-tillage systems seem to have done little to stifle the direct drill market, with…

PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

Plough, min-till and no-till compared: year one

A major trial has been set up to find the most profitable and sustainable way to grow arable crops by comparing three different establishment systems over five years. Establishment systems…

ARABLE

Many UK growers missing out on the benefits of zero tillage

Only 3% of the UK arable area is farmed using Conservation Agriculture (zero tillage), much lower than other parts of the world. Anthony Pope argues why more farmers should consider…

Cultivation and drilling technology

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Farmer embraces data to improve crop management

After dipping his toe into precision farming just over three years ago, James Porter is now embracing the latest technology that can help optimise crop inputs and ultimately increase his…

TECHNOLOGY

Dot and Raven combine precision tech systems

Two precision technology companies are teaming up to add as many bells and whistles as possible to the Dot Power Platform, which was featured in Farmers Weekly earlier this year.…

CULTIVATORS

Topcon launches Norac-designed tillage depth control

Norac is well known in spraying circles for its boom levelling technology and now parent company Topcon has used the same principals to dive underground and develop a tillage depth…

TECHNOLOGY

How moisture-seeking drilling kit helps drought-hit Aussies

A new drilling outfit developed in Australia is using clever moisture-sensing tines to automatically alter sowing depth according to soil conditions. Moisture Planting Technologies (MPT), based in New South Wales,…

Video

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MACHINERY

Video: Autumn drilling season captured from the skies

After the success of last year’s harvest drone video we have been out with the cameras again, capturing autumn work in all its glory, from above. Our drones have flown over…

PLOUGHS

Video: On test - Hubert's seven-furrow plough

Late last year, Suffolk firm Agri-Hire agreed a deal to take on Dowdeswell’s engineering operation with a commitment to restarting plough production on a national scale. Dowdeswell folded last summer,…

MACHINERY

3 Cereals videos: Top tractors, cultivation kit and sprayers

Machinery makers from across the globe flocked to Boothby Graffoe, Lincolnshire this week (10-15 June) for the annual Cereals 2015 event. We captured a few highlights from the tractor manufacturers, cultivation…

CULTIVATION AND DRILLING

Video: Horsch reveal drilling innovations and tillage tweaks

German implement maker Horsch is experiencing strong UK sales from its tillage and crop protection machines. However, with the uncertainty surrounding glyphosate regulation and Brexit, the company thinks that exploring…