A variety of tillage tools, drills and planters for all tastes and budgets could be found at this year’s Agritechnica, which at the extreme end of the scale included a monster 22-tonne drill. Steven Vale reports.
Pottinger showed its widest-ever TerraDisc disc cultivator at the event, the 10m 10001 T.
A big jump up on the previous 6m version, the firm has also added an eight metre version, the 8001 T. Suitable for working at depths from five to 15cm, and at speeds of up to 18ph, both models fold to a transport height of 4m and a width of 3m.
Two versions are available; one with load-sensing hydraulics and IsoBus control, allowing complete set-up of the machine from the cab; and the second simpler version, requiring three spool valves to change machine settings.
Both version are available with front levelling tines and various rear packers. Requiring a tractor of 350hp plus, the company plans to bring a demonstration model of the 10001T to the UK in spring.
French direct drill maker Novag brought its widest version so far to Agritechnica.
Supported on a pair of rubber tracks, the 8m-wide T-Force 840 tips the scales at 22 tonnes (empty). The drill’s heavy weight is needed to generate 500kg of force on each of the 41 coulters, says the manufacturer. Each track unit alone weighs two tonnes, designed to provide increased stability and help reduce compaction.
Fitted with a split 7,000 litre hopper, the company says operating speeds of 10-12km//hr are possible, but then only with a 400-500hp tractor.
While aimed at large arable farms in Eastern Europe, there is interest from France and Germany for the roughly €250,000-€300,000 (£222,000-£266,000) costing machine.
One of the big features of Italian firm Sfoggia’s new trailed Vento Smart planter is the two hydraulically-extending axles.
As well as improving in-field stability, the adjustable axles also ensure the planter wheels never run in the same ones as the tractor, and never in a crop row.
Used for crops such as maize and sugar beet, and to work behind a 100-120hp tractor, the target is to reduce field compaction. On the road, the axles are drawn in to reduce the transport width to 2.55m.
Fitted with a 4,000 litre hopper and 250 litre micro granulator applicator, the company says the next step is to develop a system to disconnect the eight-row planter and connect a six to eight metre cereal drill.
Einbock, well-known for its mechanical weeding solutions, showed an inter-row cultivator with horizontal discs.
Called the Chopstar-Hybrid, it is designed for hoeing in mulch-till crops. Ahead of the discs the soil and mulch layer is cut by a series of wheels with a vertical blade. The company says this allows the horizontal disc holder to travel through the soil without blockages, with the horizontal discs slicing through weed roots just below the soil surface.
The system can be combined with the company’s automatic camera steering system, it says.
It is unlikely it will come to the UK but French firm Quivogne has developed the daddy of all disc harrows.
Fitted with one metre diameter by 10mm thick discs, it is designed to work on reclaimed forest land in Eastern Europe.
Called the APF-SL, the pressure below each of the 16 monster discs is 450kg. Operating at depths of 20-22cm, and at speeds of 15-20km/hr, the company reckons 280-300hp is needed to get the best out of the 7.2 tonne machine.
Lemken’s OptiChange quick-change system allows different rear rollers to be quickly and easily changed to suit conditions.
Instead of the usual technique of bolting rollers to the implement, they are attached via coupling brackets and pins. Individual sections are attached and removed using a forklift, tractor loader or telehandler, and once in place locked with pins.
Lemken says the universal quick-change system also allows rollers to be interchanged between different implements.
While working widths continue to increase, evident on Koeckerling’s stand which launched its five-section 12.5m Rebell Classic T-1250 compact disc harrow, the German manufacturer reckons there is still a market for smaller widths.
In particular, it sees a market for machines with larger diameter discs working behind 200hp tractors to knock down maize stubbles. The result being the three metre mounted Rebell Profiline 300, fitted with the same 620mm diameter discs as the wider versions. Working to a maximum depth of 20cm, the company hopes to bring a machine to Lamma.
Vaderstad says its CrossCutter disc is not only designed for OSR stubbles and cover crops, but also suitable to combat grass weeds after cereals and can also be used to create a stale seedbed on ploughed land.
Taking two years to develop, the Swedish firm says the wavy shape of the 450mm-diameter disc provides intensive cutting and mixing at shallow depths of 2-3cm at speeds up to 20kph, without deep mixing of cover crop residues.
Shown on the Carrier 650, the new disc can also be installed on narrower and wider models, and on the Carrier XL.