After extensive trialling on several markets, the Spirit 600C StripDrill is due to be launched. The machine will enter the market with a 6-metre working width and comes equipped with load sensing hydraulics. Experience of increased stable yield levels, despite dry or extremely wet years, is what lies behind the wide interest in the strip-tillage.
The German agriculturalist and consultant Nis Lassen is an advocate of the strip-tillage concept and has for many years worked on developing the concept.
“My experience is that yields are stabilised at a higher level. Over the long term, increases of five to ten percent are realistic. For me, the biggest advantage of the new technique is the increase in yield stability. This is particularly true under difficult conditions when the weather is too dry or too wet. Despite extreme weather, it is possible to establish good stands with optimum root systems,” says Nis Lassen.
“In addition, the concept does full justice to the widely differing needs of rape and grain crops in terms of root development,” says Nis Lassen.
StripDrill is a front tool
StripDrill is a front tool for Väderstad’s Spirit 400 – 600C seed drill series and will be available for 6-metre working width from 1 June 2014.
StripDrill tines with hard metal coating
The first Spirit StripDrill prototype was tested in 2011 and has since been further refined. Many of the improvements are based on the experience of Nis Lassen on his Gut Granskewitz farm on the island of Rügen in Germany. Enhancements include StripDrill tines with hard metal coating and improved hydraulics” says Crister Stark.
“The StripDrill tines are only 25 mm wide. This is to ensure they open up as narrow a gap as possible and minimise energy consumption. The narrow tines, which are coated in hard metal, contribute to the machine’s high capacity, as it has excellent performance when seeding at 15 kilometres an hour,” according to Crister Stark.
He goes on to say “We attach great importance to demonstrating that Väderstad’s type of StripDrill can contribute to ensuring high yields in the future. Helping the plant to quickly produce a deep root system after sowing is critical. A well-developed root system gives the plant a better chance of developing, by making it easier for it to absorb water and nourishment under dry conditions. In wet years, there is a greater chance that the excess water will run off the field via more rapid infiltration.”
Spirit 600C is equipped with load sensing hydraulics
Load sensing means that the tractor automatically regulates the amount of oil needed at a given moment. This is regulated by a thin hydraulic control line between the tractor and the machine.
Load sensing means the farmer benefits in a number of ways:
- Fewer hoses need be connected to the tractor, making hitching and unhitching the machine easier
- There is lower energy consumption, as less oil is pumped round the system. The hydraulic system can therefore run at a lower temperature.
- Working sequences are easy to handle. For instance, when the driver approaches the headland, the following happens:
* the fertiliser flow is stopped
* the front tool is raised
* the bout markers go in
* the seed flow is stopped
* the seed coulters are raised
- On engagement after the headland, the same procedure is performed, only in reverse. In this way the driver can manage the machine in a single operation, and the machine leaves a definite separation mark each start and stop
- Active coulter pressure: the driver can easily alter coulter pressure, which then remains constant, irrespective of undulations in the ground
- Fan speed is prioritised; this means the fan always runs at the right speed