Visitors to last week’s Power in Action event in Suffolk got a sneak preview of much of the new kit that was on show at Tillage this week. Nick Fone picks out the highlights
Cheap to run and capable of working in all conditions – those are the claims for Kockerling’s Ultima drill. Sprung ripper-tines double up as coulters and have individual press wheels running ahead to ensure an even drilling depth. These are then followed by a levelling harrow and ring-press to provide a final consolidation effect. The company says that without seed in the hopper the unit works equally well as a primary stubble grubber. A 4m version needs 170-180hp up front and costs £55,000.
Driving down drilling costs is key in battling uncertain grain prices, according to Claydon. Sowing direct into stubble of one sure-fire way of doing that. Its SR drill overcomes the trash clearance problems associated with previous V-form direct drills by using a staggered tine-coulter layout. Pairs of tines work in conjunction, the first running in line with the second but slightly deeper. The second tine carries the coulter boot and is responsible for placing a band of seed in the tilth produced by the first.Power requirement for a £35,000, 3m version is 150hp and, travelling at between 8 and 12kph, it should be possible to cover 20-25ha a day, according to the company.
Dry cloddy conditions across the parts of the country that have managed to get on with harvest have meant that there’s been a resurgence in interest for rolls fitted with clod-busting levelling boards, according to Opico. Equipped with optional Shatta-board paddles, its HE-VA 8.2m XHD rollers cost £21,479 – money well spent, says the firm, if moisture conservation and slug control make the difference between a flourishing crop and a failed crop.
Power in Action provided the first opportunity to see Amazone’s sleek, streamlined Cayena drill in action. The German firm’s first tine-coultered seeder, it simply has three rows of narrow-pointed tines, a levelling harrow and tyre packer roll. The 2800-litre hopper is topped by a snazzy roller-sheet lid and down below there’s a new radar controlled electronic metering set-up. Apparently designed as a simple, low-cost, easy-to-pull drill, a 6m version needs 130hp to run at the optimum speed of 15kph and has a pricetag of £63,725.
Built a stone’s throw from the event site in Long Melford, the Aardvark Robotrench stood out from the crowd. Capable of cutting a trench through the stoniest of soils and even concrete, its 1.7m diameter toothed disc will work down to 75cm to lay cables, water-pipes and drains. Key advantage of this design over a chain trencher is said to be speed – in light soils it will work at up to 2kph. Price for the mid-range version is £48,000.
Gregoire Besson Sub-soiler
They might be more popular on the Continent than here in the UK but Gregoire Besson says cranked-leg sub-soilers offer a number of advantages over straight-leggers. Because soil is heaved sideways as well as upwards, it says surface disturbance is actually minimised, leaving a more level seedbed than conventional soil-looseners. The French firm’s trailed 4m Helios SP is said to be finding particular favour with growers looking to sow oilseed rape with the machine. Price for this 8-legger with ring-press is £35,000.