Farmer Ian Eksteen, of Ekland Farm in Marquard in the Free State, was unhappy with the way he was working his stubble after harvest. On hearing good things about the Amazone Catros+ high-speed compact disc harrow, he asked Amazone distributors Falcon Agricultural Equipment to conduct a public demonstration on his farm.
The date was set and the Catros+ was delivered to Ekland. Just days before the demo, Falcon regional sales manager Hennie van Romburgh received a call from Ian to say that that particular Catros+ was no longer available for the demo.
“Why?” asked a worried Hennie. “What happened?”
The disc harrow was already in full use on the farm, replied Ian. After a few days of testing, Ian had been won over by its features: complete cutting of the soil over the entire working width in all working depths, low horsepower requirement, reduced fuel consumption, and a no-frills on-the-go hydraulic depth adjustment system.
Traditionally, the implements employed for working stubble are either normal offset disc harrows or a rolling stalk chopper. The offset disc process is too slow and buries the material too deeply. The bladed roller chops up the material as it is supposed to, but, come the August winds, it all blows away. Enter the new Catros+. This mixes the surface material just enough to remain on the land without being too deeply buried. Farmer Ian Eksteen used the worldwide rule of thumb of 1,4cm working depth per ton harvested on his maize stubble.
For his conditions (highly erodible Westleigh soil), he found the best working speed to be 12,5km/h (at 15km/h, the mixing was too aggressive). This also gave him excellent fuel consumption of no more than 4l/ha. Ian now achieves with a single Catros+ what had previously required two 8,4m offset discs, with better results, far less fuel and less maintenance.
The Amazone Centaur
The Amazone Centaur is a multi-functional tine and disc soil cultivator suitable for shallow stubble cultivation as well as primary soil tillage, loosening topsoil with four staggered rows of tines. It has enough under-frame clearance for blockage-free operation even in heavy crop residue.
Available in widths of 3m, 4m and 5m, the Centaur’s tines have overload protection of 500kg, three-dimensional deflection and a tine spacing of 200mm in combination with a two-row compact disc harrow. Reconsolidation, depth control and road transport are taken care of by the wedge ring rear-tyre unit and the implement can be equipped with front guide or support wheels.