Ploughs in a scrape but best performers are on surface…
This years tillage events got underway last week at a site near Burford, Oxford.
Andy Collings and
Geoff Ashcroft report
FOR exhibitors at the Burford tillage event, the sites Cotswold Brash, on arrival at least, appeared to present few problems.
Stony, yes, which made the power harrows chatter a bit, but in terms of ploughing and power requirements not a particularly demanding soil.
Far from it. Despite the use of some of the latest designs, slatted mould boards and presumably, operators who knew better than most how to set up a plough, the soil clung stubbornly to everything it touched. Scrapers were the order of the day – almost at every headland turn.
So, as plough manufacturers struggled gainfully on, it was the surface cultivator brigade which turned in the most impressive demonstrations. And on this score, John Deere with its new Mulch Tiller line-up must have been pleasantly relieved.
Two cultivator models plus a drill found their way to the event – the cultivators very similar in design, but one having a heavier build to cope with more demanding conditions.
The Mulch Tiller 4.6m (15ft), 5.3m (17.3ft) and 6m (19.7ft)), and the Mulch Finisher 5.7m (18.7ft) and 7.1m (23.3ft)) leads with a set of discs, followed by a bank of widely spaced and staggered spring-mounted tines shod with duck-foot blades. These are followed by a set of rigid tine harrows suspended on chains and finally, the operation is completed by a barred roller press.
Business end of the 6m (19.7ft) pneumatic Mulch Drill comprises two opener discs followed by a small press wheel. Seed is metered from 2300-litre (506gal) capacity hopper using an Accord sourced distribution system. John Deere says an 8m (26.2ft) version is also available equipped with a 3500-litre (770gal) hopper. Both fold hydraulically for a 3m (9.8ft) transport width.
Price of the 5.3m (17.3ft) Mulch Tiller is £28,255, a 5.7m (18.7ft) Mulch Finisher is listed at £27,285 while the 6m (19.7ft) Mulch drill costs £31,514.
John Deeres 6m wide Mulch Drill uses a combination of opener discs followed by small press wheel. Larger 8m version is also available.