When it comes to cultivation, the trend towards the use of cover crops means having the flexibility to be able to both establish that cover crop as well to handle more organic matter when it comes to sowing the cash crop afterwards.
With this in mind, compact disc harrow design is changing with bigger diameter discs and a larger distance between the two rows of discs so as to have increased penetration, more aggressive mixing and the ability to handle the bigger quantities of crop residues.
Shown virtually, the new CatrosXL comes as either the CatrosXL 03 -2TS, in 4, 5 & 6 m working widths and semi-mounted on a bogey chassis, or as the trailed CatrosXL 03-2TX option in 7 & 8 m working widths and features a completely new 610 mm fine serrated or coarse serrated disc mounted singularly on a new heavier arm with bigger, oil-immersed bearings than on the standard Catros compact disc harrows. The distance between the front and rear disc rows is also increased to cope with more crop residues and more soil throughput. Working depths between 5 and 16 cm are possible.
Up front, a range of leading tools increases the flexibility of the machine. For instance, the straw harrow is designed to redistribute the heavy concentrations of straw and chaff caused by inconsistent combine chopping to even out volunteer growth and destroy slug habitats whereas the front knife roller can be used to either crush or mulch cover crops ahead of the disc system. For use in a min-till or after the plough scenarios, the front Crushboard can be used to level off seedbeds before the discs.
The three model line-up fits in between the Catros+ and the Certos with their 510 mm and 660 mm diameter discs respectively.
The Primera 6000-2C direct drill was at Cereals LIVE this year. Although it is more than a direct drill as the Primera 6000-2 DMC does what it says in the name, DMC – direct, mulch, conventional.
Huge underbeam clearances, and the openers in banks of four rows, mean that copious amounts of straw and cover crop can pass through the drill without any fear of blockage.
The chisel openers follow the ground contours via a parallel linkage against individual hoop rollers with the depth set mechanically on a spindle. The narrowness of the chisel opener means that little soil is disturbed but the seed slot is left clean for good seed / soil contact and the micro-tilth generated by the chisel action can then be pushed back into the groove by the angled hoop rollers following.
On the rear, a choice of either the Roller harrow, for light dry conditions or in the spring where moisture conservation is crucial, or the well-known universal Exact harrow, is used to finish off the seedbed profile. The 4,200 litre hopper, carried on flotation 700/45 -22.5 tyres, with its electrically-driven metering system, can feed both seed and fertiliser down to the coulter. The Primera 6000-2C weighs in at just 6,500 kgs and pulling power is a modest 180 hp for the 6m drill and, due to the little amount of soil-engaging parts and the robustness of the construction, the drill suffers from little wear and tear.
In the Sprays & Sprayer ring there would have been a new UX5201 with the upgraded AmaSelect system. The unique, electrically-operated, AmaSelect quad nozzle body enables the sprayer to always have the optimum nozzle or nozzle combination in use.
Irrespective of speed and rate, the 7 possible combinations of nozzle can be triggered to change so that droplet size is always kept in the desired range. The system can also be used on either 50 cm or 25 cm spacings as desired and the nozzle bodies are switched individually for the minimum of overlap in short work, enabling savings of up to 5% on the chemical bill to be made.
The upgrade to the system now includes:
AmaSelect Row – when working in row crops such as potatoes, sugar beet or maize, the AmaSelect system, utilising either a 25 cm or 50 cm spaced nozzle, selects the best matching nozzle body immediately above the crop so that the chemical is applied purely to the crop and not to the bare soil in between. This lessens the environmental impact by reducing amount of run off as well as reducing the overall amount of chemical used by up to 65%. The sprayer can revert back to a standard full-width blanket application at the press of button in the cab. There is also a solution for sugar beet on 45 cm.