A decent autumn day and a disused RAF airfield set the ideal backdrop to this year’s Tillage Live event, where manufacturers got to demonstrate their latest developments.
Alex Heath reports from Deenethorpe, Northants...
Keen to stress working with dedicated manufacturers is the best way forward, KRM was showing of its Ares 2713 drill, built by Spanish firm Sola. The 4.8m drill on show was fitted with double disc coulters, although a tined option is available.
Weighing in at two tonnes and equipped with a 2,000 litre hopper, the company says it suits farms with smaller tractors that require wider working widths, but without the weight of trailed drills.
Simple to operate, two positions are allowed for coulter pressure via a spring, generating a maximum of 37kg. A turn buckle arrangement is responsible for levelling the parallelogram linkage and depth control. GPS or wheeled metering is available, as is hydraulic or pto fan options. An accord-type metering unit is used.
Fresh out of the workshop for its first public perusal was Knight’s latest offering, the Top-Till. This six-meter secondary, spring tine cultivator is aimed at farmers wanting fine seed bed cultivations, but with out the expense in both time and fuel usage of a power harrow.
The company says 200hp should be sufficient to pull it over ploughed land at its ideal working speed of 10 to 12kph.
The machine is split into four sections across its width to allow for some ground following capability, and the chassis is the same as the one used in its M press.
Four components are responsible for working the top couple of inches of soil. A set of levelling paddles on the front break up clods, before they are pressed down with a toothed roller. Across five rows, 64 tines are arranged, aiding soil and trash flow before a set of double crosskill rollers level and consolidate. The rear roller pivots against a rubber block to stop stones blocking it.
Designed for those who want the benefits of a disc cultivating drill with out the expense of some of the alternative options on the market, Amazone was working its Combi Disc 3000, mounted underneath its Centaya seeding unit.
Fine serrated 410mm discs are arranged in two rows, with a choice of packer rollers at the rear. The cultivator weighs in 300kg lighter than a power harrow, but is 200mm longer, so weight on the tractor’s rear linkage is roughly the same. However, the company says drilling speeds of up to 15kph are achievable, with far less fuel consumed than a typical combi-drill.
There is also said to be a significant price saving over the pto alternative. However, the company reckons the disc cultivator will probably appeal most to those who want to run both.
New to the cultivation game was a farm workshop-made cultivator by owner of JTS Machinery, Jim Tarry.
This one-off, four-metre folding cultivator is designed for primary cultivations. Bolted to the homemade framework, 11 McConnel-type legs are used to lift the soil from a depth of 300mm.
Following these are a set of 10 Simba Cultipress tines, five of which are angled forwards and five straight. These break up lumps, and are arranged in such a way so that soil and trash flow is not compromised.
At the rear, are a double set of discs, utilising Gregorie Besson components. There is no packer as the company says the open finish will aid water infiltration and expose more soil for frost to further break it down. The company is gauging interest for delivery next year.
The modular Multiline system from Pottinger was seen working for the first time in the UK. This system allows farmers to buy cultivators to suit varying conditions, while using the same seed drill.
Designed to be used in conjunction with either of the company’s Vitasem ADD, mechanical box drill or the Aerosem ADD, pneumatic drill, the cultivator options extend to its Synkro tined stubble cultivator or Terradisc short disc harrow. The cultivators can be used on their own, while the drills can also be mounted on its Lion power harrow.
The whole rig runs on a staggered set of packer wheels, and is available in three, 3.5 and four metre widths.
It was the first public outing for Kverneland’s latest high capacity drill, the DG II. On show was the 12m version, but a nine-metre setup is also available. The former is equipped with 96 double disc CD coulters while the later has 72. Both have 125mm row spacings.
At the rear, the new toolbar has been improved to offer consistent pressure across the working with. Up to 80kg of coulter pressure can be exerted.
The IsoBus controlled drill offers the company’s own dual electrically driven seed metering units feeding the simplified, hydraulic folding seed distribution heads. Each half of the drill is fed independently from a 6,000 litre seed hopper.
The manufacturer says due to features such as a hydraulic weight transfer systems, the drill can be pulled by tractors in the range of 200 to 250hp.
One of the biggest pieces of equipment making light work of its demo plot was the 12m wide SwifterDisc XE 12000 from Bednar. While not new, the company was talking excitedly about its latest developments due later this year.
To help slot into 12m CTF systems the company is launching a 12.4m set. On top of this it is also offering the option to reconfigure the orientation of the discs, with its Profi line, which features an X-pattern. This means the 520mm serrated discs on either side of the centre will face the opposite direction from each other, in an effort to reduce ‘crabbing’.
Featuring a new blue livery, New Holland were putting the Kongskilde-derived STXV stubble cultivator through its paces.
Designed for lifting and mixing the entire soil profile, the five-metre machine being demonstarted was fitted with 21 of the firm’s VibroFlex tines, spaced at 235mm, capable of working to a depth of 250mm. Discs 400mm in diameter or paddles level the surface after mixing, with a choice of packer rolls for firming the seed bed.
In the trailed range, four, six and seven metre models are also available, and the cultivators now have hydraulic locking for transport. Wheels on the front are for stability when working, and depth is controlled via the tractor’s link arms and pins on the packer.
For those with hard to penetrate soils, Agri Linc was showing its Inverta Max Pro, working in public for the first time.
Built on the same principles as its standard Inverta Max, it weighs in 50 per cent heavier at 6,500kg for the five-metre machine on show.
Sealed SKF bearings keep its 620mm discs spinning, which are able to work down to 125mm. The wheels on this model are now in the middle, allowing a double soil to soil packer to be used.
It folds into three sections, lowering transport height, and is also available in four and six metre working widths.
Importers Abrey Agricultural took the opportunity to show its range of Ziegler cultivation tools. The company is now importing the full range of tined cultivators and rolls, as well as what it reckons will be a popular addition to the disc harrow market.
The Disc Master Pro on show was the five-metre 5001 model, but the range runs from three to seven metres. Distance between the 560mm discs is 900mm.
Adjustment is hydraulic, both on the drawbar and packer roller, of which there are multiple options for the latter.
Wheels are now positioned between the discs and packer, allowing time for the soil to settle before consolidation. A levelling board option for the front is coming in the new year.
Cousins of Emneth was showing its Disc Packa. This heavy-duty short disc harrow feature two rows of 510mm diameter scalloped discs, spaced 250mm apart.
At the rear a double razor ring packer presses the soil back down. Depth adjustment of both elements are hydraulically adjustable.
The company says its four-metre hydraulic folding model which weighs in at 4,640kg requires 150hp on the front. LED lights are now standard.