With several manufacturers showing off multi-purpose machines, a strong theme at this year’s recent Tillage Live event was versatility and flexibility. James Rickard and Richard Bradley report from the Warwickshire site.
For example, when conditions allow, the disc harrow can be used, then later in the season when it gets wetter, the power harrow can be used. Sulky reckons the two units can be swapped between in five minutes.
Discs allow the drill to work directly into stubbles, min-tilled ground or with plough-based systems.
The new XR cultivator option comprises two rows of discs in an ‘X’ formation, for a straight pull, with a diameter of 415mm.
Discs are rubber mounted and ideal working speeds are between 10 to 15kph, says the manufacturer. Roller options include rubber, packer and ring.
Available now, a 3m XR unit retails at £14,770.
Comprising low disturbance subsoiling tines, two rows of discs and a rear roller, the cultivator’s ability to independently alter the working height of its tine and disc elements means it is highly adaptable to operator and field requirements.
This includes being able to completely raise the discs out of the way and run it as a pure subsoiler, raise the tines out of the way and run it as a disc harrow, or run everything in the ground and use it as a full-on subsoiler/cultivator.
If only using certain elements of the cultivator, it means you do not necessarily need a big tractor to pull it all the time, points out the manufacturer.
Working widths available range from 3 to 10m, with tines set at 0.5m spacing. A 6m machine cost somewhere mid £60,000, on-farm.
Initially offering 6.5m and 8m working width trailed models, the machines can work down to about 17cm using ‘S’ type spring tines.
Designed as a primary or secondary cultivator, the key to the Turbo T’s cultivating process is the oscillating action developed by the spring tines, creating a shattering effect.
A 6.5m model uses 33 tines, evenly spaced around the frame of the machine. Depth control is via its front wheels and rear roller. You can also run without the rear roller and use the transport wheels for depth control. Levelling tines, in front of the roller, are used to create a level finish.
A weight transfer system can also be specified which shift 1.5 tonnes onto the tractor for extra traction.
Available now, a 6.5m model retails at £53,000.
As the name suggests, Select models allow the operator to lift alternate cultivating tines and coulter tines out of work, changing the row spacing from 353mm, with all the tines in place, to 706mm with half the tines lifted out of work.
Cereal crops planted at 353mm row spacing are planted in a band width of about 200mm. For crops such as OSR, winter beans, cover crops and even maize, the larger row spacing, but with a narrower sowing band can be used. The drill also has the ability to apply fertiliser.
The Select system is available for all its Pro Til drills, starting from £60,000 for a 3m drill fitted with the system.
The mounted machine is available in 3, 3.5 and 4m widths and tines are spaced at 27cm, mounted on three rows. Along with a frame height of 80cm, trach flow is said to be generous.
Now fitted with the firm’s C-Mix Super tines, stone protection is provided via a pressure spring with a release force of 600kg and a spring lifting height of 30cm.
Various tine points can be specified, enabling the machine to work from 5 to 30cm deep.
For levelling, a single row unit is mounted behind the tines with a choice of either levelling tines, or serrated or smooth levelling discs. A wide range of rollers and packers is available including its latest DW 600 disc roller, featuring serrated rims creating a constant positive drive and crumbling effect.
Designed to give greater versatility and work in a range of conditions using a choice of discs, the line-up includes both mounted and trailed models from 3.0 to 7.0m.
Featuring either screw adjust or hydraulic adjust disc angle, the X-Press can be set up to work shallow for chitting weed seeds on stubbles, or work deeper to chop residues. With the new levelling board option, the machine can also be used as a secondary cultivator to work down ploughed land.
Side deflectors can be fitted to help keep more soil within the implement, especially on lighter soils.
The 5m machine being demonstrated at the event, with track eradicators, side clod boards, levelling boards, hydraulic disc angling and 510mm discs, retails at £43,000.
Operating at 15kph, it is designed to create a tilth which encourages volunteers and weeds, including black-grass, to chit, while also assisting with drainage.
It is equipped with two knife bars on each side and includes 68 rotating 'star' points which pluck 80mm-square divots from the top layer of soil to create a shallow cultivation effect.
Weighing 1,750kg and with a working width of 6m, the machine can be used behind a tractor with 150hp. With multiple passes, The Terra Star can also be used as a mechanical weeder.
Folding to 2.8m for road transport, the Claydon TerraStar retails from £15,000.
More than just a scaled down version of the current Spirit range which goes up to 9m, the new models have been redesigned from the ground up with a lighter frame using a central beam design.
Comprising a row of levelling paddles, two gangs of discs, a tyre packer and disc coulters, row spacing can be either 125mm or 167mm.
The two gangs of discs are configured in an ‘X’ formation, designed so they pull straight and true behind the tractor. Disc diameter is 450mm and their working depth adjusted hydraulically on the move.
Able to work with its line-up of Terradisc and Synkro stubble cultivators, the new Tegosem is available in either 200 or 500 litre hopper capacities, offered with a choice of electric or hydraulically powered fans dependent upon model.
Seed is distributed via eight outlets positioned in front of the rear roller. Other features include a loading platform with steps and a handrail, along with electric metering control.
Available now, a Tegosem 200 retails at £5,500.
Stripped of its bells and whistles, the simpler plough is designed to appeal to those who just want a mechanically and manually adjustable machine.
Available with three to seven furrows, the ‘M’ ploughs feature hydraulic front furrow width adjustment with a wide range of adjustment, a dampened depth wheel to take out shocks during turnover, and a simpler transport locking mechanism.
The introduction of the 8M to the Juwel family, creating a wide range of ploughs, marks the end of production for the Europal and Variopal ploughs.
Retail price for a five furrow Juwel 8M with shearbolt protection, skimmers and a rear discs is £22,500.