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

CULTIVATION AND DRILLING

New Weaving Fenix drill helps refresh tired swards

Weaving reckons it has come up with a belt-and-braces approach to grassland reseeds and sward rejuvenation. The Evesham-based firm’s 3m Fenix Grass Drill features 32 discs, 405mm in diameter, spread…

MAIZE DRILLS

Contractor modifies Vaderstad Tempo to sow maize and grass

Maize and grass are now common bedfellows, but getting them growing together usually involves making a mid-season drilling pass that risks clattering maize plants and disturbing soil. Not so for…

CEREAL DRILLS

Contractor rates his simple Yorkshire-built combi disc drill

Armed with a row of soil-loosening legs, a power harrow and a set of Vaderstad disc coulters, the Combi-Plus drill from Bramleys Seed Establishment offers plenty of options for getting…

CEREAL DRILLS

Ingenious Seed Sock speeds up drill emptying

Merseyside farmer Olly Harrison has come up with a clever way to avoid shovelling piles of seed off the floor after emptying his drill. After chatting with a neighbour, who…

WORKSHOP SKILLS

Inventions Competition 2021: Workshop-built arable implements

Plenty of growers have decided to spend time building their own cultivators and drills to suit their particular soil types and sowing regimes. See below for the best of the…

Cultivation and drilling reviews and tests

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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: 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: 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

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…

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: 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: 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…

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: 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…

CEREAL DRILLS

Driver’s view: Lionel Shaw's Horsch Avatar drill

Lionel Shaw runs a Horsch Avatar at Manor Farm, Luton, and explains his why he changed to a no-till drill, how it works and gives us his verdict on the…

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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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…

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…

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

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…

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…

CULTIVATORS

Side-shift linkage options deliver pinpoint crop weeding

Razor-sharp RTK guidance systems have nailed the art of driving tractors in arrow-straight lines, but they can’t deal with the inevitable wandering of implements on undulating ground and in changeable…

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.…

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…

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…

CEREAL DRILLS

Ultimate guide to buying a min-till drill 2021

Our latest Ultimate Guide focuses on direct, min-till and disc cultivator drills, with the listings providing a snapshot of every make, model and variation in terms of format, specification and retail…

Cultivation and drilling technology

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CULTIVATORS

Case-IH introduces AFS Soil Command for cultivator

An automatic control system designed to ensure consistent performance from multi-element cultivators has been introduced by Case-IH in North America to help improve seedbed quality. See also: Tips on selecting…

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…

TECHNOLOGY

Autonomous robots drill a 50ha maize crop

Controlled by an app, a French technology company has built three highly accurate robots that are cultivating, drilling and caring for a 50ha crop of maize, completely autonomously. The project…

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…

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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…

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

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,…