The Sumo Trio at work on the Kent farm.
A season’s free use of a Sumo Trio one-pass cultivator,won in a prize draw at the York cultivation equipment manufacturers annualopen day, will give a Kent farming business a chance to use the implementacross a range of soil conditions and land types, and could be the precursor toa possible purchase, says the manufacturer.
Assistant farm manager for Pluckley-based FGS Agris farm andestate management division, Harry James, overseesthe daily operations on 720ha of land run alongside a contracting business fromStanford Bridge Farm. He entered the prize draw at the Sumo open day back inNovember 2012, and having been drawn as winner, a 3m Trio was delivered to the farmduring August. Its performance should sway a decision on whether to invest in aTrio when the free use is up.
We had been considering a 4.5m model to run behind one ofour Claas Xerion 3800 tractors, so this 3m unit will be a good test of whetherthis is the right tool for us, says Mr James (pictured above).
Build quality seems to be better on the Trio than on the 5mcultivator we currently run, on which a few cracks are becoming evident.Time will tell how the Trios build copes with our sustained use.
I think a Trio of comparable size will move more soil, asthis 3m one certainly seems to for its width, while the low-draft legs have cutthe draft requirement, but still do a good job of loosening through the soilprofile, while at the same time pulling up fewer clods. They and the discsincorporate the trash better than our current machine, leaving a more levelsurface with a good mix of soil and straw.
Its speed of work that makes the best job with a one-passcultivator, believes Mr James, and thats another area where the low-draft legscome in for praise, allowing for working speeds of 10-11km/hr, loosening to 8indeep behind a 220hp John Deere 7930.
Even at that speed, the sideboards do a good job ofretaining soil, and point/wing wear has been good. Were getting two sets of wingsto a point and two sets of points to a shin.
Having a bit of extra power on tap means the Trio does abetter job than it would down at 6-7km/hr. The power helps to ensure wereworking at the right speed to achieve the intended result, loosening, mixingand pressing properly. And while we sometimes need to make a further presspass, on a good deal of our land we can drill straight behind with our tine coultermin-till drill.
Im a big fan of the spiked packer, which seems to addanother level of cultivation by cracking more clods. It also turns well in allthe conditions weve worked in so far, and I like the idea of the spikes beingreplaceable. Im looking forward to trialling the Trio in maize stubbles andseeing how it copes with that sort of trash.