Line-up of crop establishment tools completed

  • Opico has added two key brands to its range of tillage equipment

By taking on the distribution of Ovlac ploughs and Alpego Power harrows, drills, rotary cultivators and flail toppers, the Lincs-based company now offers a comprehensive line-up to cater for all approaches to crop establishment.

Located in northern Spain, Ovlac has been building ploughs for over 75 years and today is the country’s largest manufacturer of soil-engaging equipment. Mouldboard ploughs remain the firm’s flagship product and Ovlac is regarded as something of a specialist in shallow inversion tillage with a range of ploughs built specifically for that growing market.

Alongside a full offering of conventional and reversible ploughs from three to nine furrows – mounted and semi-mounted – the company has developed its “Mini” Shallow plough range to work at depths of between 8cm and 20cm. By adopting this technique, reducing share depth to less than 15cm can halve power requirements enabling smaller tractors to cover far greater working widths – it is possible to have a 13-body plough spanning 5m in one pass.

Although designed to be simple and lightweight, the Mini is extremely robust and has the added advantage of working on-land to avoid furrow bottom compaction.

The principle of shallow inversion tillage favours the formation of cavities where air and moisture can work together to provide a microclimate to suit the bacteria that can decompose large volumes of crop residue, producing a clay-humic complex that mineralises nutrients and increases the natural fertility of the soil and, therefore, its long-term productivity.

Alpego’s range of cultivation equipment naturally compliments Ovlac’s offering. Best known for its power-harrows and drills, the Italian company has been specialising in one-pass crop establishment for over 30 years, but was originally established as “Pegoraro” Pegoraro Agricultural Construction in 1946 by Vittorio Pegoraro and remains within the family today.

But its line-up has much greater reach with a full range of flail toppers, multi-purpose seed/fertiliser hoppers and rotovators. Although the business concentrates on conventional machinery it is known for an innovative approach to design. One example is its unique offering of de-mountable seed drills for tractors with a rear load deck – the hopper and metering unit carried up over the tractor’s rear wheels to maximise traction and optimise weight distribution.

This inventive approach to engineering carries through to Alpego’s rotary cultivators. Rather than employing a conventional chain or gear drive at one end of the rotor, the Italian company opts instead for a gear-drive to the centre of the shaft. Not only does this ensure an even distribution of load, it also means its rotovators’ overall width is equivalent to their working width without an over-hanging driveline off to one side.

Opico’s takeover of the distribution of Ovlac and Alpego equipment in the UK will mean improved technical and spare parts back-up as well as additional marketing support for the existing dealer network for both brands.

At the Cereals event in June the company will have standard and shallow Ovlac ploughs on display as well as a full line-up of Alpego equipment. A selection of products from both manufacturers will also be on display at the Royal Highland and Royal Welsh shows as well as a host of regional events.

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