One of the UK’s major tillage shows, the Cereals Event held in eastern England, returned to the calendar as a live event last week.
Growers turned out to discover more about the latest crop varieties, agronomy practices and proposed farm support policies – and, of course, to check out the latest soil-working, crop spraying and harvesting machinery.
New implements with novel features for shallow- to medium-depth soil loosening and structure remediation were among the highlights, especially for growers adopting direct drilling as part of a conservation or regenerative farming approach.
In the sprays and sprayers section, several new nozzle developments aimed to further improve application control, accuracy and pesticides efficacy were on show.
Picture 1: Ryetec Restorer
“That gives you the flexibility to locate the implement wherever it suits on the day,” said Ryetec’s Mark Harrison, who highlighted the separate pivot mountings for the serrated discs and tine carrier assemblies that enables them to move around small sub-surface obstacles and allows the implement to steer when being pushed.
The hefty implement comes in 3m fixed and 4m folding sizes, the latter also able to work at 3m when conditions are especially tough or when insufficient tractor power is available.
A rear tow bar or linkage is available to work in tandem with another implement when the Restorer ALD is used on the back of a tractor.
Picture 2: Snap bar
Shallow soil-loosening tines on Agri Weld’s growing collection of implements are protected by an alternative to traditional shear bolts and shear bars to overcome their shortcomings.
The Snap Bar is a flat steel plate with four laser-cut holes and slots calculated to give the device predictable ‘snapping’ characteristics.
“Shear bolts need tools to replace them and the broken slug can jam the leg after it has pivoted backwards,” said Dean Foster of Agri Weld.
“You also get the bolt and the hole wearing, which eventually means the leg holder assembly needs replacing.”
The Snap Bar avoids these issues, as the device is held in place by linchpins on two lugs – one on the frame, one on the pivoting leg holder. A slip-on steel collar on each lug is easily replaced when worn.
When the bottom portion of the device is snapped away by the tine encountering a large stone or other obstruction, the three-hit device is simply repositioned.
Agri Weld builds the Min-Dis rear-mounted, Mantis front-mounted and Assist rear toolbar in 3m to 6m sizes with an open frame design for easier access when changing a Snap Bar.
Picture 3: Tillso Advantage
A toolbar added to the front of Tillso’s 4m Advantage mounted soil loosener enables trash-clearing finger wheels or flat discs to be positioned ahead of each Sabre tine. These elements are clamped to the toolbar by resilient rubber blocks to allow some movement and the assembly as a whole can be positioned relative to the working depth of the tines by a pin and hole arrangement.
Tillso makes its own patented tines to a design developed from intensive studies of soil mechanics.
Each consists of a common point and shin with one of four soil-lifting wing assemblies that suit different soil types and compaction depths.
“Each component and the assembly as a whole is calculated to apply controlled tension to compacted soil beneath the surface, which then fractures as it is lifted and falls off the wings,” Chris Lane of Tillso said.
“This precise, targeted restructuring action results in a permanent rearrangement of soil aggregates, with vertical fissures and columns of soil that support subsequent traffic and help to preserve the favourable structure.”
Picture 4: He-Va TopCutter
The He-Va TopCutter uses a pair of rotors formed from six blades arranged in a spiral pattern to cut, bruise and crimp cover and catch crop vegetation – as well as vegetable crops post-harvest – prior to or at the time of drilling to encourage its breakdown.
The ground-driven implement comes in 3m to 6m sizes and can be used up front or on the back of a tractor.
Picture 5: Izona subsoiler
Spring-loaded pivoting discs designed to maintain a consistent working depth over surface irregularities feature on the low-disturbance subsoiler from Izona.
The mounted implement is available in 4m and 6m folding configurations, with 750mm of stagger to ensure decent trash flow between the tines, which are protected by shear bars.
At the foot, a choice of three wing widths determine the depth at which the implement works effectively, depending upon the soil type and conditions on the day.
Picture 6: Izona iPass 624
A distinctive new contender for high-output seeding, the iPass 624 from Izona will be available with interchangeable tine coulters for sowing into a prepared seedbed, a minimum tillage mulch or direct into stubble, with strip cultivation drilling a further option.
Leading discs and auto-reset protected tines are positioned ahead of the coulter tines to cut through trash and create a targeted strip of tilth for seed that is propelled under pressure from the 7,000-litre hopper, which is divided to also accommodate fertiliser and has sufficient capacity to sow 16ha per fill at 180kg/ha.
Martin Lole of Izona said the parallel linkage mounting and ball joints allow the hydraulically pressurised coulter arm to self-steer through curves while following surface contours at high working speeds.
The role of the drawbar-mounted wheels is more to help the tractor’s lower link draft control work effectively to maintain traction rather than to consolidate soil between the tractor wheels, he added.
Behind the soil-working elements, the drill is mounted on a commercial trailer axle running on large-diameter 800mm or 900mm wide implement tyres.
Picture 7: Ryetec toolboxes
Refinements on the front-mounted toolboxes from Ryetec include rubber matting on all internal storage surfaces, struts to hold the lid open and a range of storage spaces of different sizes to suit an assortment of tools, equipment and other essentials.
For added ballast, the half-tonne boxes can be coupled to a hefty weight that is easily removed when not needed.
Picture 8: Syngenta 3D ninety
Ultra-fine tuning of the outlet orifice shape and other aspects of a low-drift spray tip design has resulted in the new Syngenta 3D ninety for critical herbicide and fungicide applications.
Reckoned to give a 90% reduction in drift compared with a regular flat fan nozzle, the 3D ninety is said to have proven its efficacy with a 2.5 percentage point improvement in blackgrass control compared with conventional low-drift nozzles.
It has also performed 9% better in trials than Syngenta’s 3D tip, which is reckoned to set the industry standard, at the recommended 200l/ha water volume.
The new tip is angled to intercept vertical targets such as grass weeds and to penetrate crops with lots of foliage.
Picture 9: Altek Smart-C-Spray 124
Altek’s new Smart-C-Spray 124 system provides intelligent spray tip selection through twin or quad nozzle holders, making it possible to rapidly adjust outputs to compensate for differences in speed along a sprayer boom through a turn.
The system can be used to control each nozzle assembly individually or in sections, with pneumatic (rather than electric) valves on each assembly providing rapid tip selection and on-off control.
Richard Riley of Altek said the Auto Nozzle Select function changes spray tip size combinations automatically to compensate for changes in working speed or for variable rate application, while the system’s Nozzle-Spy feature continuously monitors whether each nozzle is performing as it should.