For the first time in donkey’s years a new plough model has trundled out of Dowedeswell’s Warwickshire-based works.
Called the 125-series, it’s designed to appeal to farmers who want a lightweight, simple plough that can handle up to 240hp on the front.
Dubbed by Dowdeswell as the modern-day DP7 – which went out of production about six years ago – it will have hydraulic front furrow adjustment and manual width settings from 14-16in on the other bodies.
Point to point it measures 36in and under beam clearance is 29.5in.
To keep prices down, all models are fitted with the same headstock. Four-, five- or six-furrow beams can then be bolted on depending on customer’s requirements. The headstock also has a true-pull linkage to make sure it draws a straight furrow.
The 125MA will go on sale at towards the end of 2014 and will be available with any of Dowedeswell’s standard bodies. It also has a combined depth and transport wheel. Prices not announced.
Liquid manure distribution system bolts on
Biogas plants are popping up faster than pimples on a teenager’s forehead and the knock-on effect is an ever-increasing supply of liquid digestate.
Moving, spreading and incorporating this stuff has become big business for contractors and many have rigged up spreading and cultivation rigs to do the job in one pass.
The only problem is that this usually means setting about a spanking new cultivator with the gas axe and welder.
In a bid to keep warranties intact, Vogelsang has been working with Pottinger, Amazone and Vaderstand to produce liquid manure distribution kits that will bolt straight on.
Called the SynCult, the kits include a machine-specific adapter plate, a liquid manure precision applicator, all discharge lines and brackets for fitting them to the cultivator.
Kits for 3m machines with 24 outlets cost £6,000 and 6m, 24-outlet versions have a £6,850 price tag.
GPS sensor aids Pottinger planter
Gravity-fed box drills are still a firm favourite among farmers that like to keep things simple, but even these aren’t immune from technological advancement.
Pottinger’s Vitasem A is the one of the most basic planters on its price list, but it now comes electric metering as standard as well as a GPS sensor to monitor forward speed.
This means it’s considerably more accurate than before and is capable of variable rate seeding. If the GPS signal drops out there’s also an emergency speed setting that it reverts to until it comes back.
A 3m Vitasem 302ADD with the new electric metering and GPS sensor costs £16,740. If you want to sow with variable seed rates, you’ll need to upgrade the drill terminal, which ups the price to £16,740.
Kultistrip cultivator offers flexibility
Farmers in the market for a strip-till cultivator have another new model to consider.
The Kulti-strip from Kverneland was making it first proper appearance at Tillage-Live and according to maker the flexible design means it can be quickly adjusted and adapted to tackle different tasks.
This means cultivated rows can be adjusted from 40-60cm and it has optional kits for solid and liquid fertiliser. A small-seed applicator is also on the way. Kverneland will be building a frame that allows a precision planter to hang off the back for one-pass planting and there’ll be a version for incorporating slurry, too.
The conventional use for this type cultivator is preparing ground ahead of precision planted maize, sugar beet and oilseed rape. In this application it usually passes through and applies some fertiliser using RTK guidance to set out the rows. The ground is then left a week or so before going back through with a precision planter.
However, Kverneland says more and more people are considering a one-pass approach as well as other applications like slurry incorporation.
The 3m, six-row Kulti-strip costs £29,000 and is available in limited numbers this year. Full production will kick in in 2015 and there will be bigger, folding models coming too.
Rytec skim plough is no slouch at 15kph
This reversible skim plough imported by Rytec engineering can take the tedium out of soil inversion by hammering along at up to 15kph.
The French-built Bugnot plough has a fixed 12in furrow width and is designed to work between 100-150mm deep. Even at this depth and speed it is said to fully invert the soil.
It did struggle a bit on the dry, crumbly ground at Down Ampney, but we’re assured is effective on most soil types.
The Bugnot is available with any number of furrows from five to 11 and has the option of shearbolt-protected or auto-rest bodies. However, the speed at which it operates means the latter possibly a more sensible option.
Construction is hefty to say the least and the headstock pin would look at home anchoring down a suspension bridge.
The eight-furrow machine on show at Tillage-Live is recommended to have at least 160hp on the front and it costs £29,300.