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  • Written by: Farmers Guide
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‘Love Your Soil’ campaign launches


Claydon, the UK-based manufacturer of the Opti-Till Crop Establishment System, will use Agritechnica 2019 to launch its new ‘Love Your Soil’ campaign, together with the company’s new 6m Hybrid T6c trailed direct strip seeding drill and 8m TerraBlade inter-row hoe.

‘Love Your Soil’

The ‘Love Your Soil’ campaign will highlight the need for farmers to better care for their soils and how the Claydon Opti-Till System can help to achieve this. A holistic approach to crop establishment, Opti-Till delivers consistently good, high-yielding, profitable crops at a low cost; uses far less fuel; improves soil condition and reduces erosion, says the company.

The environmental benefits of Opti-Till will be reflected in the environmentally friendly approach adopted on the company’s stand. Instead of handing out printed brochures in plastic carrier bags, Claydon will use stylish recyclable paper and cotton bags in its well-known yellow-and-black livery, with the option of QR code cards, which allow visitors to download specific information directly from the company’s website.

Export manager Simon Revell said: “The Claydon family’s 400ha arable farm in the East of England is one of very few in the UK to achieve a 5-star rating for the condition and health of its soils. As a company we know about soils and how to get the best from them in the most eco-friendly, sustainable way, and will be highlighting that to visitors.”

He added: “Soils are any farmer’s greatest asset and yet many are unwittingly destroying their structure and productivity through the incorrect use of conventional full cultivations and min-till techniques. These can over-work the soil, depleting soil biota, greatly reducing worm populations and activity, together with its ability to drain water away in wet weather and retain moisture in dry weather.

The TerraBlade is a low-cost, mechanical method of controlling weeds in combinable, band-sown crops.

“Starving the crop’s roots of essential air and nutrients also reduces yield potential and increases the cost-per-tonne of production, while increasing the risks of flooding and soil erosion. Similarly, the use of min-till systems and disc-type direct drills can result in soils which drain poorly and flood easily, creating crops with poor rooting structures and low yield potential.

“This situation must change, which is why we will be highlighting how the Opti-Till System can help farmers to grow better crops, more efficiently, using just 10 per cent of the fuel of a plough-based system, while greatly improving soil health.”

Claydon Hybrid T6c

The new 6m Hybrid T6c compact trailed drill, the latest addition to the Claydon range, will appeal to farmers who require a highly versatile and manoeuvrable 6m trailed drill. Over 20 per cent lighter and more compact than Claydon’s Hybrid T6 model, the T6c combines the high output of a 6m seeding platform, with the nimble handling characteristics and manoeuvrability of the 4m T4 trailed design on which it is based. Capable of drilling typically 45ha per day behind a 300hp (223kW) tractor, it is designed to appeal to farmers who prioritise lower cost and greater manoeuvrability over ultimate hopper capacity and output.

Carried on the lower link arms, the T6c features a fully floating seeding chassis which follows field contours exactly, ensuring accurate seeding depth under all conditions. It does this regardless of the weight in the hopper, which is carried on a separate frame supported on centrally mounted depth wheels that run on clean, dry, uncultivated ground to avoid capping and compaction.

Providing a hopper capacity of 3,500 litres, double that of Claydon’s 6m mounted drill, the T6c weighs approximately 7,900kg unladen, compared with 9,000kg for the T6. The hopper can be used for seed only or divided 60:40 between seed and fertiliser for combination drilling, a technique which gets crops off to a fast start and is popular with farmers and contractors throughout Europe and Scandinavia. The T6c uses 38mm-diameter pipes to transport seed and fertiliser from the hopper to the tines.

The TerraBlade inter-row hoe operating in a crop of winter wheat.

Versatile, flexible, simple, strong, easy to use and with low operating costs, the T6c will sow directly into stubble, in min-till situations or on ploughed/cultivated land, across the widest range of soils, conditions and crops. This enables one drill to handle any crop establishment situation and minimises capital investment. The 19 individually adjustable tungsten carbide leading tines reduce compaction and aerate the soil. They also optimise drainage, form tilth for the seeding zone and create a uniform seeding depth. The following seeding tines create additional tilth and place the seed at the ideal depth, above the drainage channel. This highly effective system encourages very deep, complex rooting structures to develop quickly, which minimises soil erosion and produces stronger, healthier crops with optimum yield potential.

The new drill can be adapted to whatever the customer requires to suit different crops and conditions. They can have the standard tine set-up with a variety of coulter and seeding boot options, and fertiliser can be placed down the front or rear tine. Shouldered front cutting discs come as standard but press wheels can be specified. At the rear, the double toolbar can be equipped with a range of press wheel, board and harrow configurations to fully cover the seed and leave the soil smooth and level. 

Providing unparalleled versatility, the T6c folds to 2.97m for transport and is equipped with a wide range of standard features, including single-point depth control, a stainless-steel metering system and an Isobus-compatible RDS Artemis control system which provides tramlining and variable seed rate capability. The specification also includes a hydraulically-driven fan, Claydon-designed distribution heads for improved flow and seeding accuracy, together with a tramline kit and hopper cover.

Options include a vision kit which incorporates work lights and cameras so that the operator can monitor the drill from the tractor cab, GPS variable-rate seeding, blockage sensors, pre-emergence markers and brakes.

8m Claydon TerraBlade

The new 8m Claydon TerraBlade inter-row hoe is the largest model in the company’s range. Equipped with 26 blades, it joins 4 other TerraBlade models – the 3.0m M3, 4.0m M4, 4.8m M4.8 and 6.0m M6 – which have 10, 14, 16 and 20 blades respectively.

The TerraBlade is a low-cost, mechanical method of controlling weeds in combinable, band-sown crops. It provides an additional weapon in the agricultural industry’s weed control armoury at a time when the efficacy of some herbicides is decreasing, while the cost of control is increasing. Band sowing at 30cm leaves a 14–15cm-wide unseeded strip between the rows which can be mechanically hoed.

Designed for use in all types of strip seeded crops, the TerraBlade eliminates weeds from that area reliably, safely and without using chemicals. This clears up any weeds that were missed by ag-chems, or where such products cannot be used, greatly reducing the return of weed seeds and the overall weed burden.

By keeping the unseeded rows clear of weeds during the early stages of crop growth, competition for nutrients, light, air and water is reduced and the young plants can grow away strong and healthy. TerraBlade has the potential to improve crop yields, drastically lower the potential for carry-over of weed seeds and reduce the risk of more resistant types developing.

The unit will give years of reliable service, has very low operating costs and offers great flexibility. It is designed for use on any tractor with a Cat II front linkage, travels at speeds of approximately 6kph and operates up to 30mm deep. It is manually steered and can be used whenever soil conditions allow, covering up to 4ha per hour with an 8m unit. On farms that drill early, crops may be sufficiently well developed in the autumn to start using it then and the operation can continue in the spring whenever soil conditions allow, up to the stage where the crop might be compromised by further passes.

A crop of wheat that has been hoed with the TerraBlade inter-row hoe.

  • Written by: Farmers Guide
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