Sly Agri’s latest no-till disc drill in the spotlight

There is a new angled disc drill on the market that could cause a bit of a buzz among the nation’s no-till enthusiasts.

At last week’s Sima show in Paris, Sly Agri pulled the wraps off its new no-till disc drill that uses modified openers from Aussie firm Boss.

The double-angled, undercut discs are designed to slice into the soil without causing compaction or moving too much soil, and it has been given plenty of added adjustment options for Europe’s changeable conditions.

We caught up with Sly bosses George Sly and Cyrille Geneste to see what it’s all about.

Why use angled discs?

We looked at several different disc systems before settling on the idea of the double-angled Boss opener.

Alternatives included a double v disc with side gauge wheels and a single disc with side gauge, but both of these caused compaction when they were put under enough pressure to get them to cut into hard ground.

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Due to its slicing action, the angled undercut disc needs less downward pressure, causes less compaction and, as an added bonus, pulls less straw into the slot.

It does put a lot of strain on the chassis though, but that’s why it’s built so strong.

How do the coulters work?

Each coulter hangs off the drill’s frame on a parallel linkage with hydraulic pressure system.

This works in both directions so the coulters can float over the ground in wet conditions or be pushed down with up to 350kg/unit in the hard stuff.

As standard, the driver sets the pressure at the start of the job, but we also have the option of fitting a sensor on the rear gauge/closing wheel.

This adjusts the pressure according to changing ground conditions to keep seeding depth consistent and prevent compaction.

At the ground-engaging end of things, the assembly starts off with an optional row cleaner for flicking trash out of the way.

The disc itself has the seed boot mounted on the side in such a position that it never comes into contact with the soil.

This means it keeps clean when working in sticky conditions.

The floating gauge wheel on the side of the disc also acts as an active scraper.

After the seed has been placed, the closing wheel presses the slot back together.

How do you control depth?

Depth can be controlled using either the side gauge wheel or the rear closing wheel.

In worked or very friable ground, where there will be no problem closing the slot, the side wheel gives the most accurate seed placement.

This is set using a slider on the top of the assembly.

For genuine no-till seeding, the closing wheel is generally the better option as it’s running on cleared, worked ground.

It is also the one to use in wet conditions, where this drill performs particularly well.

What sizes are available?

We are building machines from 3m to 7m on the same modular chassis, which means farmers can upgrade without making any alterations.

The smaller machines can be tractor mounted, as can some of the larger ones if you team them with a front tank.

We are also offering 9m and 12m machines, which are based on our Stripcat chassis.

There are also plenty of different tank options going up to a maximum of three 2,000-litre units.

How much power do you need?

The 6m machine can easily be pulled by a 200hp tractor and we recommended a drilling speed range of 7-15kph.

If you go slower it won’t pull into the ground properly, and any faster and you’ll lose seeding accuracy.

When is it available?

We have already launched in France and we’re hoping to do so in the UK soon.

We are currently looking for someone to join our team to promote and demonstrate the drill in the UK, as well as farmers to work closely with before general sale later in the year.

Prices will depend on spec, but an average 6m machine will cost about £90,000.