Farm Ireland

Sunday 17 December 2017

Clay-ing down the law

Derek Casey

Derek Casey

Claydon will be attending the National Ploughing Championships this week with its new fertiliser application system for the Claydon Hybrid drill range. The design is claimed to help growers reduce fertiliser usage and cost, yet make better use of expensive fertiliser through targeted placement while drilling.

The new fertiliser option will be available on new drills and as a retro-fit option to existing drills.

It has been developed to meet demand from users in Ireland and Britain but also throughout the continent, especially Germany.

"The Claydon strip tilling system only works the soil within the immediate seeding zone and leaves the areas between undisturbed. It also places fertiliser within the seeding zone at drilling, which ensures that the fertiliser is exactly where the young plant needs it," explained Claydon research and development manager Matt Bowe.

"This avoids fertiliser being wasted on the 50pc of ground that is not disturbed, ensuring that the optimum amount of nutrient is available to the young seedling, better utilisation and a potential fertiliser cost saving."

Claydon has also developed a new 3m drill, the Fertiliser Hybrid, which features a new split hopper that is positioned further forward on the drill for improved stability. It has the capacity to carry 750kg of seed and 750kg of fertiliser, which are fed through two individual metering units so that varying application rates can be applied.

On larger 4m, 4.8m and 6m Hybrid drills a front-mounted 1,500kg-capacity hopper has been developed, with fertiliser blown through to a second distributor head. There is also a 1,000-litre front-tank option for applying liquid fertilisers.

In standard format, the fertiliser is fed down the back of the leading rigid chisel breaker tine and placed 75-100mm below the seeding zone for the young seedling.

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However, the design also allows the fertiliser to be fed down the back of the seeding tine so that it is mixed with the seed or placed on the surface.

The application rate for solid fertilisers is set and controlled using the drill's RDS Artemis Electronic control system, so no separate control unit is required. The liquid fertiliser system requires its own dedicated control box.

Both solid fertiliser systems can also be used to apply micro-granular fertiliser, and the RDS Artemis control unit enables application rates from as little as 2kg/ha right up to 450kg/ha to be applied.

For customers who only require the ability to apply micro-granular fertilisers, Claydon is also able to supply a specific micro-fertiliser application system for all Hybrid drills. The micro-fertiliser is metered into the seed flow using a modified Stocks rotor meter. They are available with a choice of three control systems: through the drill's Artemis system; via its own Wizard variable rate controller; or a simple vari-speed system.


Meanwhile, Claydon has also extended its range of equipment with the addition of a set of 12.3m-wide rollers. The firm says the addition of these new rollers enables the thorough consolidation of soil within the seeding zone to ensure optimum soil-to-seed contact, moisture retention and a reduction in slug activity.

The new unit comprises five 2.5m-wide sections that fold down horizontally to just 2.85m for transport. Each roller unit is fitted with 24in breaker rings, with a working weight of 682kg/metre to provide optimum consolidation.

Incorporated into the frame is a load-transfer system to ensure that weight is evenly distributed across the full working width of the roller for an even finish.

With a minimum power requirement of 120hp working at 6kph, the Claydon roller is capable of covering around 6.6ha/hour. The standard specification also includes full road lighting and hydraulic braking.

Irish Independent

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