Shifting trends in crop establishment with the desire to up soil organic matter levels, improve soil health and increase traffic carrying capability has seen a move towards the use of more cover crops, stale seedbeds, targeting the use of fertiliser with the seed, reducing disturbance during drilling and a change in timing with later drilling choices.
Amazone has always been the harvest to harvest specialist, concentrating on soil tillage, seeding and planting as well as crop care through fertilising and spraying. Soil tillage has seen both extremes with soil inversion and mechanical weeding systems being added to the range whereas, on the planting scene, then high-speed grain singling with the Precea precision seeder for maize, rape and sugar beet is an expanding area of expertise.
Seeding still encompasses a huge diversity of operation from the conventional soil inversion/ drill combination systems, which offer so much flexibility in warming soils, drying soils and cleaning up difficult weed issues, through to the no-till spectrum of the tine seeder working in min-till or unmoved stubbles.
Cereals will see Amazone show the Cirrus triple-shoot concept drill, with its three seed hoppers and three 'coulter' systems giving flexibility of seed only, multiple seed varieties at different planting depths and the addition of fertiliser either between the rows or in the row. The Cirrus 6003-2CC will also feature the low-disturbance, Cirrus MinimumTill Disc which is ideal for establishing a cash crop after a cover crop. Also on the stand will be the 12m Condor and 6m Cayena tine seeders with their slim-line chisel opener and the Primera direct drill will be working in the direct drill demo area.
The Primera has the openers in banks of four rows, mean that the drill can pass through copious amounts of straw and cover crop 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 stubble cultivation theme, this year sees the launch of the new X-Cutter disc for the Catros XL and Catros 2-TX compact disc harrows. This wavey profile disc works the top 2-8 cm of the soil surface completely ensuring full soil movement, maximum seed/soil contact for optimum weed and volunteer germination. The X-Cutter disc is ideal for use in difficult to shred stubbles, such as oil seed rape.
The new FTender-C split front transfer tank is coupled up with the Ceus 4000-2TX disc and tine combination cultivator which is equipped with a double distribution system designed to convey fertiliser down to the cultivation leg as well as apply a cover crop or undersowing clover or grass ahead of a cash crop.
Technology continues to abound on spreaders and sprayers with simplifying operation, improving accuracy and targeting inputs increasingly the norm. The new ProfisPro spread rate control system on ZA-TS spreaders monitors the output from each individual shutter and adjusts the aperture size if it recognises a change in flow from one side or the other. This system works in conjunction with the 200 Hz twin-weigh cell system and tilt sensor for optimum rate control. ArgusTwin and WindControl continue to offer state of the art monitoring of fertiliser quality, topography and weather conditions at time of spreading and alter the spread pattern accordingly.
At Cereals, and then working at Tillage-Live, will be the new Cenio 3000 mulch cultivator. The Cenio is aimed at the smaller tractor with its shorter, lighter execution making the tractor lift easier.