Reduced Number Of Passes
Brothers Mike and Brian Salmon of Trewinick Farm, Rymford, Saint Ervan, Wadebridge bought a set of OPICO 6.3m extra heavy-duty HE-VA Rolls equipped with a Shatta-Board spring levelling board from local dealer Cornwall Farmers in February.
Having used the system for 200 acres of spring barley, Mike Salmon recognises the benefits on offer.
"Prior to February, seedbed preparation involved the use of a disc harrow, followed by spring tines, then disc harrow again," he says. "We used to cover the same piece of ground about six times."
Now the same job is done in one pass. "We plough the ground, then go right in with the Shatt-Board and the rolls. The land is fit to drill when we've finished.
"Once the land has been drilled, the rolls are used again with the Shatta-Board lifted out of the way, to finish the job."
Using a John Deere 6810, 125 hp tractor with OPICO's cultivator/rolls, he can cover 80 acres a day on flat, medium loam soil with no problem. "With the Shatta-Board down we are averaging 10 acres per hour but you can go faster just rolling. We haven't got big fields down here - typically 10-15 acres. It would be a lot quicker with 50-acre fields."
Savings in fuel, time and labour are substantial, he says, particularly with the reduction in passes.