The current trend in cultivation in the UK is to use implements that have a combination of discs, tines and rollers to perform several tasks simultaneously. Cereals 2013 displayed a number of cultivation implements of this type:
The trailed Sumo Quatro
This has four elements, three of which are hydraulically adjustable. Different configurations of tines, discs and packer rollers can supply the finish required for various soil conditions and trash levels, while the hydraulically protected, low-draught legs can work to a depth of 400mm.
The Dal-Bo Rollomaximum 1230
This implement uses a combination of cultivator tines and spring-loaded rollers to create a seedbed in one pass, while levelling boards and rear rollers break up clods. Hydraulic cylinders are used to fold the unit, as well as transfer weight to the side sections during operation, maintaining even pressure on the soil. The 12,3m version requires a tractor of at least 260kW.
The Bristows split- level subsoiler and multi-tooth tiller roll
The front leading tines on this implement work at a shallower level to separate a layer of topsoil for the tiller-roll. The tiller roll’s heavy drum has teeth with convex and concave edges and its design incorporates an adjustable link within a parallelogram to provide precise depth control. This keeps the machine level and the roller scrapers at the same distance from the ground at all height settings.
This award-winning one-pass machine eliminates the need for a deep ridger, bed tiller and de-stoner in most soil types and conditions. Instead, it works directly in stubble up to 35cm deep, making a bed for the planter to follow, thereby saving time, labour and fuel. Unlike the bladed rotor of other soil-tilling implements, that on the Tillerstar turns the opposite way to the working direction, so the soil passes over the top of the rotor and out of the back of the housing.
The soil then lands on four flexible-finger star rollers – the same as those used on conventional stone and clod separators – which sieve the soil and carry stones and clods forwards into the space behind the rotor. Here they are covered by the soil falling between the rollers as the machine moves forward. The Tillerstar is suitable for a wide variety of crops, including onions, potatoes, beetroot, leeks and carrots, and can be fitted with any specification of bed formers, bed shapers or rollers.
Shallow depth with aeration
The Quivogne Saturn from France (below) is designed for lower-power tractors. It has 12 curved tines that turn the topsoil at a shallow depth, aerating rather than burying it. The tine design allows for straight-line pulling and the double row of overlapping discs cut, mix and level rather than penetrate the soil in the traditional way. The job is finished off by levelling fingers. The Saturn is available in a 3m rigid frame and 4m, 5m and 6m working widths, with hydraulic folding to 2,50m for safe road transport.
Tine line: take your pick
Avenue Agricultural supplies a range of replacement parts throughout the UK. A farmer can choose from a wide variety of tines and points for the relatively basic task of sub-soiling, cultivating and tilling the land.
The Alpego Puma combination cultivator operates at a depth of 50mm to 300mm. Because of its low draught, it uses less fuel. The legs have a progressive penetration angle and the innovative double-spring safety system can take pressures of up to 800kg per tine. Folding, mounted and trailed models are available.
The latest addition to Gregoire Besson’s Rabe range, the Carry Bret, combines tines, discs and a rear packer. Available in widths of 4m, 5m and 6m, the Carry Bret is fitted with eight to 12 tines to promote drainage and root penetration, and 32 to 48 discs for mixing and chopping stubble. The single-beam chassis has a 2,5m transport width and a hydraulic compensation cylinder with a rubber shock absorber at the front for improved weight transfer. The machine’s linkage drawbar ensures maximum manoeuvrability on the headland.
Ploughs for all soils
The expansion of maize production in Europe in the past few years has seen the plough regain its importance as a primary cultivator. Recent research has shown that loosening and aerating the root zone with a plough can improve the formation of roots, helping to increase yield. Due to increasing chemical resistance amongst pests, ploughing has also become crucial as a mechanical form of pest control. The German manufacturer Lemken GmbH offers a range of ploughs for all soil conditions for tractors of 34kW upwards.
Simple and reliable
The Spaldings Flatlift TDR is a deep and shallow intensive stubble cultivator. The front two rows of tines disturb the soil aggressively, and this is followed by an intensive mixing and chopping action by two rows of discs. A large-diameter press roller consolidates the soil.