Machinery and kit is without a doubt one of the largest costs on farm, so making the right decision when purchasing equipment is essential. But with so much choice, and technological innovation evolving daily, it can be difficult to make those decisions without the opportunity to see equipment in action or directly compare different brands.
With millions of pounds worth of kit on display, and plenty of experts on hand, this year’s Cereals Event (13-14 June) provides the perfect shop window for anyone in the market.
“Whether you’re on a budget or looking for latest high-end kit, there will be an array of equipment on display to suit all needs,” explains Jon Day, event director. “With support from Defra secretary Michael Gove for min-till and no-till techniques after the UK leaves the EU, farmers may be considering potential changes to their tillage, drilling practices and precision technology requirements. Visitors to this year’s event will find, plenty of help at hand, with experts offering advice on what is out there to maximise productivity, efficiency and of course, profitability.”
As well as a wide range of static machinery, visitors will also be able to see kit in action with the return of the Syngenta Sprays & Sprayers arena, with 18 exhibitors set to demonstrate their latest kit.
This year’s event will also see the introduction of a new Cover Crop Drilling Demo, where exhibitors including Cousins of Emneth, Dale Drills, Ryetech Industrial Equipment and Sim-Tec Aitchison will demonstrate direct drilling on an 8ha area sown with a mix of cover crops. The seed for this cover crop area has been provided by Kings Seeds, who will be present next to the demonstration area. “There is a lot of interest at the moment in improving soil structure and health, particularly with the government initiative,” says Paul Brown, seeds business development manager, “Cover crops have a lot of merit, particularly as they create a soil structure that facilitates direct drilling. The use of cover crops leads to a much more conducive structure for establishment.”
Here’s a look at just some of what visitors can expect to see on the day.
Amazone has four new bits of kit making their UK debut: The Centaya harrow-mounted pneumatic drill, the Ceus disc and tine combination cultivator, the Citan 12001C ISOBUS solo seed drill and the UX 01 trailed sprayer.
Available in a 3m working width, the Centaya drill has a plastic seed hopper which reduces the lifting power required. The distribution head has also been repositioned above the coulters, bringing the centre of gravity substantially further forward.
The UX 01 is available in tank sizes of 4,200, 5,200 and 6,200 litres. The underbelly of the sprayer is completely smooth to prevent crop damage and the tank is designed with a low centre of gravity. It is also shaped to offer surge-free operation for safety on the road and stability in the field. The new 28° steering axle provides the tightest of turns for use in row crops and potatoes. Load-sensing anti-lock brakes come as part of the package and the sprayer is kept in the tractor track by the automatic hillside compensating AutoTrail system.
Fendt will also be returning to Cereals 2018 to debut a new range of trailed sprayers. The Rogator 300 series is based on its established stable-mate, the self-propelled Rogator 600, and is available with tank capacities of 3300, 4400, 5500 and 6600 litres. Operating widths of between 24m and 30m can be specified.
Garford Farm Machinery
Garford is embracing robotic technology with its Robocrop InRow weeder. For use on a variety of crops – including brassicas, sugar beet and lettuces – the kit uses a digital camera to capture images of the crop ahead of the tool bar. These images are then processed and analysed to find the position of the individual plant to enable lateral steering of the hoe and individual synchronisation of the InRow weeder discs.
Speeds depend on cropping and plant spacing – with a minimum spacing of 15cm required for the machine to be worthwhile – however, users can expect to achieve between 2kph and 8kph.
Halse South West
As the Ovlac UK importer, Halse South West will be showcasing the latest addition to the firm’s fleet – the 400p 4m Eurodisc folding harrow.
The disc harrow boasts a 24-inch serrated disc, working at a vertical angle of 16.8° and advance of 21°. The larger disc, having four times the contact area of a smaller disc, can achieve complete soil movement across the entire working width, without the need to go deeper to achieve this.
The unique feature of this range is the individual leaf spring protection system. When an obstacle is encountered, the leafspring pressure diminishes rather than increasing as you might experience with a coil spring design,” explains Nick Clark, Halse. “As the discs are mounted on independent legs, they can adapt to ground contours and respond to obstacles without influence on one another.”
Hands Free Hectare (Harper Adams University)
Automation and robotics are likely to play an important role in the future of arable farming, so this year’s Cereals Event will feature the only live demonstration of Harper Adams’ Hands Free Hectare (HFH) equipment outside of the university in the country.
Last year, Harper Adams University and Precision Decisions set out to be the first in the world to drill, tend and harvest a crop without operators on the machines and agronomists in the field. After a successful harvest, and gaining funding from AHDB, the project has returned for a second year.
Project lead Kit Franklin explains: “In November 2017, we successfully drilled our second crop, a hectare of winter wheat, with the ISEKI TLE 3400 tractor and Simtech drill which we used in the first round of the project; but this time with improved accuracy.
“The 38hp tractor, which has been integrated with a drone autopilot, was selected due to its hydrostatic transmission, which makes it highly controllable. To operate what would usually be hand and foot controls, we’ve used linear actuators as might be found in a combine for sieve adjustment.”
Several pieces of new kit from Horsch will be getting their UK debut at this year’s event, including the latest Serto 12 SC and Pronto NT drills, the new Cruiser 6 XL and Terrano GX cultivators and the Express KR – the first singulation drill for wheat, barley, oilseed rape and peas.
The new Serto SC is a compact seed drill for large farms, with working widths of 10m and 12m. Two seed coulters run behind every tyre with a row spacing of 16.6cm, while the all-over packer lowers horsepower requirement and saves fuel.
Available in 6m, 8m and 9m working widths, the new Pronto NT features the TurboDisc double disc coulter at 20cm row spacing in combination with a compact, leading wavy disc, making it ideal for mulch and direct seeding.
The Express KR singulation drill is a new metering technology that enables precise seed application. Seed is drawn from a main hopper by a central volume metering unit. This pre-metered seed is pneumatically conveyed to the respective seed row to achieve high singling accuracy.
Househam Sprayers will have a range of new self-propelled sprayers on show, including the 230hp model of the Predator. The sprayer boasts a 5,000-litre stainless steel spray tank and 36m tri-fold boom. Weighing just 10,440kg (unladen) it’s a very light piece of kit and will be joined alongside the recently updated Spirit sprayer.
Househam’s latest innovations include a level 4 filtration system in the cab, Individual Nozzle Control, Auto Nozzle Select and Househam’s Total Machine Control V5 Controller with FieldMaster GPS mapping and guidance. “We’ll be demonstrating in the arena to show farmers the technology and efficiency of our future-proofed machinery,” says Robert Willey, managing director of Househam. “We’re excited to be sharing our newest machinery with Cereals’ visitors before anyone else.”
Featuring the new PowrSpray solution system, a larger 5,000-litre capacity spray solution and lightweight carbon fibre boom, John Deere’s R4050i self-propelled sprayer will be demonstrated for the first time in the Syngenta Sprays & Sprayers arena at Cereals.
The use of a carbon fibre boom removes around 800kg from the rear of the machine – improving weight distribution – as does carrying the extra weight of liquid in the larger tank in the centre of the vehicle.
Able to spray at widths of 18m or 36m, the boom is much lighter than steel or aluminium designs but doesn’t compromise on strength – with the carbon fibre estimated to be 5.5 times stronger than steel and still able to flex.
Ultrasonic sensors can track the height of both the ground and the crop simultaneously, providing better performance in down or very open crops, or in crops grown in rows. Active Roll Control employs dedicated gyroscopic sensors in the centre of the boom to monitor and compensate for movement of the vehicle suspension and provide very precise control of the boom position.
First previewed in 2017, Manitou’s new MLA-T articulated loader will be on display at this year’s event.
The central positioning and width of the driver’s cab is different to traditional telehandlers, improving visibility. It also boasts an impressive load chart, with a maximum capacity of 3,300kg and a 5.2m lifting height, achieved by the unique 2D central articulation and oscillating rear axle.
McHale will be showcasing the latest addition to its fleet: The R 68-78 centre delivery rake. Available in different working widths from 6.8m to 7.8m, the rake delivers a tight turning movement and high output.
The rotors are suspended centrally, and both operate at equal ground pressures across the working width, while the suspension system allows the rotors to follow all ground contours – regardless of the terrain.
The rake drive line flows through a wide-angle gearbox to the individual rotors – picking up the crop only once before placing it in a loose aerated swath.
The latest addition to the McHale bale wrapper range – the Orbital High Speed Round Bale Wrapper – will also be on display. Using the same technology as the McHale Fusion, the Orbital wrapper is capable of keeping up with multiple balers.
It also offers a high-speed wrapping solution which delivers consistent and even overlap and achieves optimum levels of fodder preservation and quality when wrapping bales of fodder from 1m to 1.45m.
After a break from the event, New Holland will be returning to Cereals in 2018. The firm will be showcasing its new T6 Dynamic Command multi-purpose tractor, introducing the brand new 8 step semi-powershift transmission. Available on the T6 all-purpose tractor series, the Dynamic Command sets a new benchmark in efficiency and adds further choice to the T6 range, complementing the T6 Electro Command and Auto Command models.
New Holland will also have its latest rotary combine, the CR9.80 Revelation 24″ SmartTrax with Flex Technology on display. Residue management is likely to be one of the biggest challenges facing farmers over the next ten years so, New Holland’s CR range, including CR8.90, CR9.80, CR9.90 and range topping CR10.90, all benefit from a revised residue management system including, an award-winning chaff distribution system, a revised straw chopper rotor for finer chopping and, revisions to the Opti-SpreadTM system to ensure even spreading of chopped material out to 14.5 metres.
HE-VA (distributed by OPICO) will be showcasing its latest offering – Evolution – which promises precision drilling and seed placement, now in mounted 3m and trailed 4m and 5m versions.
The seed bed is prepared by the low disturbance, medium-depth sub-soiling legs and points which alleviate compaction and improve soil structure. This encourages good rooting with resulting early, vigorous spring growth. A V-profile roller then re-consolidates, creating a micro-tilth ready for seed placement.
A front disc works ahead of each leg, slicing through the soil surface to ensure minimal soil disturbance. This prevents blackgrass seed being brought to the surface, explains James Woolway, managing director at OPICO. “The double-disc coulter enables seed placement to be controlled precisely and consistently to a required depth, providing ideal conditions for germination,” he says. The rear wheel then closes and re-consolidates, ensuring good seed to soil contact.
Also on the OPICO stand will be the launch of the improved Sky Maxidrill 10 series. New features include the ability to seed three different products from separate hoppers with individual metering systems, feeding into two distribution circuits which can place products at two different depths.
This enables targeted fertiliser applications, reducing the total amount applied and minimising waste – particularly useful where crops have a shorter growing window and need to get off to the best possible start.
Another debut at the event will be the Geacut 600 – the new high-speed cultivator from Spaldings, manufactured by Sacho Land Solutions. The Geacut 600 is a trailed implement with three serrated rollers, covering a working width of 6m and operating speeds of up to 30kph.
“With the full-width replaceable steel blades cutting into crop residues and the soil surface, this implement is also effective on oilseed rape and maize stubbles, to encourage the breakdown of cover crop vegetation, and for controlling slugs,” says Paul Denton, product development manager at Spaldings.
“Lower running costs compared with conventional cultivators result from the very high outputs achievable and from lower wearing parts costs.”
One of the secrets behind the Geacut’s high working speed is the way each of the rollers is connected to its frame by a patent-pending assembly incorporating rubber ‘doughnuts’ acting as shock absorbers.
“This unique feature allows enough movement between the frame and bearing to significantly reduce shock stress,” says Paul. “It’s a clever solution that enables the implement to operate at much higher speeds without shaking the bearing assembly to bits.”
Vaderstad will be showcasing its latest precision drill – the Tempo L 18. Available with row spacing down to 500mm, it is ideal for planting crops like oilseed rape and sugar beet. It has 18 row units and is available with 500mm or 508mm row spacing.
The ability to adjust the drill from 18 to 12 rows also makes it suitable for drilling other crops – like maize – as in the 12 row configuration the spacing can be set between 700 and 800mm.
Tickets are now on sale for Cereals 2018. For more information visit: http://www.cerealsevent.co.uk/tickets