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-LIVE would have seen the AMAZONE minimum disturbance zone with the Cirrus MinimumTill Disc, ideal for establishing a cash crop after a cover crop, through to the Cayena tine seeder with its slim-line TineTeC chisel opener and the Primera direct drill.
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 CatrosXL compact disc harrow. The 610 mm diameter, fine- or coarse-serrated discs work the top surface completely ensuring full soil movement, maximum seed/soil contact for optimum weed and volunteer germination as well as being able to handle copious amounts of organic matter with increased clearances between disc banks as well as discs and packer to improve passage of organic matter. The CatrosXL comes in mounted, semi-mounted and trailed and in working widths of 3m through to 8 m.
Technology continues to abound on spreaders and sprayers with simplifying operation, improving accuracy and targeting inputs increasingly the norm. The new AMAZONE in-house ISOBUS software makes the operator’s life a doddle with simple, fast intuitive operation of machine and TaskController. 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.
AmaSelect on the sprayers is now upgraded to include AmaSelect Row, AmaSelect CurveControl and AmaSelect Spot, features that are designed to cut chemical consumption and reduce environmental impact.