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

CEREAL DRILLS

Horizon Agriculture unveils no-till DSX coulter for new drills

Horizon Agriculture has revealed a no-till DSX coulter that it plans to fit to its yet-to-be-unveiled disc drills. The low-disturbance seeders inherit plenty of technology from the Sly Boss drills,…

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…

Cultivation and drilling reviews and tests

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CEREAL DRILLS

Driver's view: Simon and David Fellows' Dale Eco XL drill

Worcestershire farmers Simon and David Fellows explain why they opted for Dale’s 10m Eco XL drill and how it fits into their controlled-traffic system. What drill are you using? We’ve…

MACHINERY

Fertiliser drills: What are the options?

Why seed & fert? Power harrow drills Solo drills Disc & tine cultivation The technique of placing fertiliser at drilling time is moving out of its traditional stronghold in Scotland…

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…

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: 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…

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…

CEREAL DRILLS

Driver's view: John Mair's Ma/Ag SSP drill

John Mair from March, Cambridgeshire, gives us the low down on his Ma/Ag no-till drill. He reveals the benefits to soil and cost, tells us how it has performed, and…

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: Robert Hinchcliffe’s Triton drill

We asked Yorkshire farmer Robert Hinchcliffe to run through the good points and bad points of his 3m-wide Triton drill and explain why he picked it.  What drill are you…

CEREAL DRILLS

Driver's view: Matt Lewis’ Mzuri Pro-Til 3m drill

Farm foreman Matt Lewis talks about the Mzuri Pro-Til drill that he has owned for three years. Its purchase bought about a change in the farm's crop establishment system, which…

CEREAL DRILLS

Driver’s view: Tom Hounsfield's Sumo DD drill

Lincolnshire farmer Tom Hounsfield gives us his verdict on the adapted Sumo DD no-till drill he bought in 2015. He tells us why he switched to no-till, his likes and…

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…

Cultivation and drilling insights and practical advice

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SOILS

Top tips to achieve more resilient and sustainable soils

One of the most common questions for farmers relating to “soil health” is how best to measure it and monitor progress once they have embarked on a mission to improve…

ARABLE

Effect of cultivation method on crop yields

There are many ways to cultivate a field, ranging from deep ploughing to no-till farming, and choosing the right variety and cultivation technique combination is the key to getting the…

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

How to crack down on costly soil compaction

Improved on-farm understanding and use of tillage equipment combined with better use of tyre technology could be key to cutting costly soil compaction. Damaged soils are estimated to cost UK…

CULTIVATORS

10 single-pass cultivator options for heavy land

Heavy cultivation might not be the trendiest of topics these days, but machines that can whip up a seed-bed in a single pass are still in high demand. Since it…

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…

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,…

MACHINERY

John Deere 750A comes top in Cambridgeshire drill trial

Earlier this year we published an article about a trial being conducted by Cambridgeshire farmer David Walston, comparing three different drills to sow wheat direct into stubble – a Cross…

SOILS

How to raise headland yields by cutting soil compaction risk

Yields on field headlands are typically 10% lower than the rest of the field, which is why farmers will benefit from measures that minimise the impact of increased traffic on…

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…

Cultivation and drilling technology

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CEREAL DRILLS

6m disc drill ticks the boxes for contractor’s CTF system

While striving to limit the travel of machinery across arable acreages is a very worthy cause, it’s not always that practical. True controlled traffic farming (CTF) zealots will tell you…

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,…

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…

ARABLE

Yorks farmer slashes fuel costs with variable-depth tillage

A more streamlined approach to "prescription cultivation" is promised with the introduction of a tractor-mounted scanner that enables variations in soil type and compaction depth to be identified on the…

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CEREALS

Video: Machinery highlights from Cereals 2018

The Farmers Weekly machinery team headed to the southern site for the annual Cereals show, this year at Chrishall Grange in Cambridgeshire. Although several machinery manufacturers scaled back their stands,…

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…

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…

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…