Direct drilling specialist Dale Drills has added a cutting disc option to its machines in a bid to help farmers drilling in fields planted with cover crops. The straight disc is designed to bolt on in place of the leading tine on each drilling assembly and will cut a clear line through high levels of green cover.
The disc is mounted on a new bearing which is now fitted to the press wheel, reducing the number of different parts on the drill and preventing excessive maintenance.
The cutting disc can be retro-fitted to existing machines and is available for all sizes and models – including the flagship Eco Drill and smaller Eco T.
It will further increase the capabilities and versatility of the drills, which are capable of sowing in direct, min-till and conventional seedbeds.
The press wheels – fitted to each drilling assembly to ensure an even sowing depth across the width of the drill – have also been improved with a new fully enclosed bearing.
The robust bearing – typically found on disc cultivators – requires zero maintenance, reducing downtime and improving output.
James Dale, who runs Dale Drills with his brother Tom, said: “Our drills are already incredibly versatile and capable of very high work rates – without the need for a huge amount of horsepower, improving efficiency and keeping establishment costs to a minimum.
“But these latest modifications go that much further. Other types of wheel bearings, for example, tend to need greasing regularly, while tapered roller bearings need tightening at set intervals.
“By fully enclosing the bearing we’ve removed the need for this extra maintenance and enhanced our drills’ already excellent reliability – helping to reduce downtime and improve output.”
Commenting on the new cutting discs, James continued: “We want to help the wealth of farmers who are now using cover crops. It’s something we do ourselves and we’re only too aware of the challenges it can cause, as it’s sometimes difficult to get the extra cover through the drill.
“As a general rule, drier crop residues, such as stubble after the combine or cover crops that have been sprayed off for a longer period, are better drilled into by a tine, however greener residues, such as cover crops that haven’t been sprayed off that long, are better drilled into by a disc.
“Our trials have shown that the disc works well, slicing a path through the cover crops for the following tine, which is then able to create tilth and place the seed into clean soil.”