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Steve Heard: Design challenges for the new Heard-built cereal drill pick up a pace

Insights

One thing is for sure, I am in no place to moan about the weather.

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Along with the rest of the industry, I can only watch in amazement at the widespread effects of the floods and have huge respect for the way those worst affected farmers are conducting themselves on national television.

 

Once again the countrywide support and generous donations are testament to the many great people involved in British agriculture. Let’s hope things get better very soon.

 

Sheltering in the office, I have been hidden behind computer screens multi-tasking. While downloading online conferences from around the world reviewing the merits of vertical tillage, seedbed fertilisers and various seeder row widths, I have also been trying to concentrate on drawing out the CAD model of my new cereal drill.

Final design

With most of the components now squeezed into a 12-metre (40ft) shipping container, I have a few weeks as it voyages across the Atlantic to finalise my design. Even in transport mode the donor drill measured 5m (16ft) wide, 4.5m (14ft) tall and more than 12m (39ft) long; clearly very major modifications will be required to travel down narrow country lanes and operate efficiently within 4-hectare (10-acre) fields.

 

With our newly built primary cultivator now ready and awaiting some field trials, I just need to decide on a name by which it will be known and design some decorative stickers. Currently referred to as the ‘Lift and Tickle’ it does not really sound like a credible replacement for our appropriately named Sumo machines. If anyone is interested in an excellent 4.5 or 5m trailed Trio, then I am happy to sell either, but definitely not both.

 

Finally, may I add my congratulations to Jenny Jones, our first ever British Olympic medalist on the snow. Having spent many years snowboarding I do at least know how much it hurts to fall, even if I cannot relate to any of the other airborne manoeuvres.

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