Lamma 2020: New drills and sprayers take centre stage

New drill launches at the Lamma show focussed on multi-seed applications, with both Bednar’s Omega and the Sulky Progress capable of sowing three different crops in one pass.

Other notable news included Sly Agri’s rebrand to Horizon Agriculture and a bigger version of Stocks’ Turbo Jet applicator.

See also: Ultimate guide to buying a tractor 2019

Sly Agri rebrands as Horizon Agriculture

Coulter assembly

Horizon Agriculture coulter assembly

Following a split from its French arm, Sly Agri is rebranding as Horizon Agriculture and moving production of its drills and cultivators from France to the UK.

Lincolnshire farmer George Sly founded the firm 14 years ago, initially selling rubber track units.

But following a tie-up with French farmer Cyrille Geneste, the business expanded into the strip-till cultivator and no-till drill market. Notable machines are the Stripcat cultivator and Boss drill.

However, this deal came to an end late last year, with the French side of the business entering into a partnership with Agrisem and selling these machines in black and yellow livery.

In response, the UK arm, fronted by George Sly, has rebranded as Horizon Agriculture and is shifting manufacturing to the UK.

With the help of technical director Johannes Weber, he has developed a new range of products.

These include re-engineered no-till and minimum-tillage drills, which are due to be launched at the end of January.

New features include a Seederforce system, which offers active sensing and adjustment of the rear following wheel to maintain consistent seeding depth.

The Boss undercut disc coulter has also been updated and will now be sold as the DSX opener.

Equipment from US firm Precision Planting is also being sold from Horizon’s base in Spalding, Lincolnshire, alongside rubber tracks under the Traxxis brand.

Bednar Omega drill

Bednar Omega drill

Bednar Omega drill © Jonathan Page

Versatility is the main selling point of Bednar’s latest Omega 00-FL drill, which can lay down three products in one pass and work in a variety of cultivation regimes or direct into stubbles.

At the front, the Czech firm has fitted a levelling bar and packer wheel setup, followed by two rows of 460mm scalloped discs spaced at 250mm.

Behind these is a row of disc coulters that lay the fertiliser – either with the crop, or between the rows. These are fed from a 400-litre tank, which sits on the rear of the drill and doubles up as a small seeds applicator.

Behind the discs is another row of packer wheels, with the middle section also used for transport. At the rear are two banks of coulters arranged in pairs using parallelogram linkages to follow ground contours.

Row options are 12.5cm and 16.7cm, with half-drill shut-off a possibility.

Two pressurised plastic hoppers help control seed flow to the huge distribution heads. There’s a 5,000-litre capacity for the two products along with the possibility of blockage sensors on each hose.

The 6m machine apparently requires 200-280hp on the front and can be controlled through a Muller terminal or link into the tractor’s screen via Isobus.

Sulky Progress drill

Sulky Progress drill

Sulky Progress drill © Jonathan Page

French firm Sulky displayed its new combination seed drills, including the top-spec Progress model capable of planting three different crops at the same time.

Progress drills come in width options of 3m, 3.5m and 4m, and various hopper configurations are possible. These include single hopper capacities of 1,250- and 1,750-litres, a split hopper with 1,200/800-litre and an optional 100-litre hopper for small seeds or companion crops. For those who don’t need the fancy extras, the Master is the firm’s entry-level version.

There are three coulter options; the P20 Unisoc Suffolk coulters can place three seeds in individual rows with just 20kg of pressure. The double disc parallelogram P50 Twindisc has 50kg of downward pressure and the serrated P100 Cultidisc offers 100kg of pressure in a single row for trickier conditions.

Cleverly, each row can be shut off individually to adapt to different tramline setups and it can even be controlled via wi-fi from an iPad.

The Progress drill can be used with a Sulky power harrow of 190hp – 300hp, or a set of Sulky XR discs. Price for a 3m single hopper P100 Progress with a 190hp power harrow is £44,800.

Weaving Sabre Tine drill

Weaving Sabre drill

Weaving Sabre drill © Jonathan Page

Weaving has revamped its popular Sabre Tine drill, adding hydraulic depth adjustment and improving performance in trashy conditions.

This has been achieved by fitting a fourth row of high-clearance tines, spaced generously from the third row so that there’s plenty of room for material to settle.

Other updates include adding a new side-to-side contour-rolling pivot that allows the drill to maintain a more consistent seed depth on undulating terrain. The position of the depth wheels has also been moved so that they now sit inside the frame.

Three mounted models are available, including a 3m fixed-frame, and 4.8m and 6m folding options – fitted with 18, 28, and 36 coulters respectively.

All come with a 2,000-litre hopper, 166mm row spacing, GPS metering system and a hydraulically driven fan.

Other standard features include wheel eradicators, a twin-row following harrow and LED lights. Several optional extras are offered, including variable-rate seeding, Avadex applicators, GPS-operated pre-emergence markers, separate small seeds applicators and electric half shut-off.

The drill’s official launch took place at this year’s Lamma event, but the maker has apparently already sold 30 units.

Prices start at £24,800 for the 3m machine, going up to £39,800 for the standard-spec 6m. According to Weaving, all Sabre Tine models are eligible for the Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme (CPSG) and Leader Grants.

Drift-reducing Wingssprayer sprayer add-on

Landquip sprayer panels

Landquip sprayer panels © Jonathan Page

Landquip has taken on the import job for a Dutch designed sprayer attachment that helps reduce spray drift and improve efficacy.

The Wingssprayer system uses the air streams created by forward motion to form a downward swirl of droplets that better penetrate the crop canopy. The setup also uses wide-angle nozzles spaced at 25cm between the two aerofoil wings to produce fine droplets that help with crop coverage.  

This improved contact can apparently reduce the quantity of product required by 20% for herbicides and around 15% for fungicides.

During spraying the wings gently touch the crop, slightly opening the canopy to allow for better droplet penetration.

Price of the Wingssprayer system fitted by Landquip to one of its new machines will be in the region of £1,150/m. The cost of retrofitting to an existing machine is more variable and depends on the make and model, boom layout and such like.

Landquip has also expanded its Cropmaster mounted sprayer range with a new 1,300-litre model. It joins existing 1,600- and 1,900-litre models and is available with ultra-light RPA aluminium boom in widths of 18-24m.

Like others in the range, the new model’s capacity can be upped by pairing it with a 1,500- or 1,900-litre Vision front tank. Precision farming add-ons range from the Arag Bravo 180S entry-level controller to GPS-governed individual nozzle section control, boom auto height and colour touch screen.

Stocks Turbo Jet applicator

Stocks twin metering

Stocks twin metering © Jonathan Page

Stocks Ag has launched a new flagship model to its Turbo Jet applicator range.

The 12-outlet model joins existing eight- and 10-outlet versions and gets several new features not seen before on Stocks machines.

There’s a new hopper arrangement that can involve a pair of 150- or 250-litre hoppers (total capacity 300- or 500-litres) with independent metering units. The layout includes a pressure-balancing chamber situated before the product is metered even-out any inconsistencies in air pressure created by the fan.  

Larger internal metering and delivery chambers are identically matched to the internal diameter of the flexible hose that connects them to try and eliminate pressure fluctuations and potential product stall points. There’s also a new manifold with push-fit pipe fittings to improve access for operators.

Other noteworthy features include a fan bias feature that allows the operator to adjust the air flow to ensure it remains consistent across the wider working width of the machine. A factory-installed twin fan option produces increased air flow for handling denser products or targeting wider spread widths.

There’s also a new TM controller, which is designed specifically for independent twin metering and enables simultaneous application according to two variable-rate maps. Variable rate capability is unlocked as standard from the factory, as is coverage/as-applied mapping and integral Egnos-based GPS.