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

New 3m version adds to Horsch Focus TD drill options

Horsch has added a new model at the base of the Focus TD strip-till drill range to extend its appeal outside of large arable enterprises. The 3m version carries a…

MAIZE DRILLS

Jacto builds colossal 470hp, 30m-wide self-propelled drill

Anyone willing to pay whatever it takes to get their crops sown in double-quick time will be casting an envious eye at Brazilian maker Jacto’s new articulated self-propelled drill. The…

CEREAL DRILLS

Sulky goes high-tech with small combination drill

A major revamp of Sulky's compact combination drill line-up last year culminated in the unveiling of the Progress – a small, high-tech offering that has caught the eye of UK…

CEREAL DRILLS

Retrofit openers offer drill customisation on a budget

An increasing number of farmers are swapping their manufacturer-supplied drill openers for retrofit replacements in a bid to reduce soil disturbance and improve seed establishment. Switching to aftermarket openers isn’t…

CEREAL DRILLS

Bespoke Stripcat drill expands companion cropping options

In their quest to improve soil health and better adapt to changeable conditions, Lincolnshire growers Matthew and Richard Fisher have invested in an elaborate custom-built strip-till drill. The impressive rig…

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…

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…

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…

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: 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: 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…

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,…

CEREAL DRILLS

Driver's View: Weaving GD drill

Henry Muntz reveals how his Weaving GD no-till drill has performed across his farm of Warwickshire clay loam. What drill are you using? We’ve got a 4.8m trailed Weaving GD…

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…

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

Driver's view: Jack Tooley's McConnel Seedaerator

McConnel’s Seedaerator is a single-pass strip-till dril that cultivates and seeds the crop in bands. Nottinghamshire farmer Jack Tooley talks us though the highs and lows of his machine. What…

Cultivation and drilling insights and practical advice

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ARABLE

Growers highlight soil and cost advantages of using no-till

There’s no silver bullet when it comes to putting no-tillage cultivation techniques into practice, but there is a basic recipe that everyone can follow. Minimal soil disturbance, diverse rotations and…

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…

SOILS

Tips on getting soils and rotations back on track

After one of the wettest winters on record, it could be assumed that UK arable soils will be in desperate need of first aid before the next cropping season begins.…

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…

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…

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…

TECHNOLOGY

Aqua Till waterjets offer ingenious alternative to coulters

Just when you thought variable rate, variable depth, turn compensation and limitless fertiliser combinations had taken drilling technology to its limit, the rule book has been blasted open once again.…

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

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…

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…

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,…

Cultivation and drilling technology

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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

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

Garford improves spec of super-accurate Robocrop guidance

Garford has launched the latest version of its super-accurate camera-based Robocrop guidance system. Now in its fourth generation, the kit comes with a compact touchscreen to speed up the process…

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.…

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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,…

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

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…

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,…