A range of fascinating new machinery developments will be on show at the CropTec show this year, including several new bits of kit designed to help improve control of troublesome weeds.
We take a peek at some of the latest machines that help underpin a herbicide armoury that is coming under pressure from regulators and resistant weeds, and also review some new gadgetry designed to make the operator’s life that bit easier.
Horsch is promoting its new Hybrid Farming System at CropTec. It aims to provide a solution to weed control without glyphosate, by combining the best practices of organic farming and conventional farming.
Experts will be available to talk about four new products that have been developed to meet the needs of farmers looking for mechanical weed control, while retaining the high productivity of conventional farming.
The new Transformer VF is the basis of a new Horsch hoeing tool line. The fully integrated lateral sliding frame enables the Transformer VF to be extremely flexible with parallelogram-guided tools.
It is available in 6m to 12m working widths and is fully compatibility to the ISOBUS standard and can be combined with many camera systems. Below-frame clearance is 660mm, particularly useful in row crops like maize and sugar beet. The machine can cover row spacings from 25cm to 90cm.
The Finer LT enables shallow cutting of weeds, volunteer crops or catch crops. It can be an alternative to glyphosate with regard to fighting weeds. The ability to set the tine angle so the tines cut shallow and parallel to the ground is completely new. Available in 6m to 12m working widths, spring tines are spaced at 15cm with a frame height of 55cm. Horsepower requirement is low, with a 12m version only requiring a 200hp tractor.
The new Cura ST harrow will be launched as a three-point version with working widths ranging from 6m to 15m and features an extremely solid design and precise operation.
The six-bar design allows for a tine spacing of 2.8cm for working intensely on clean soils or soils with a lot of weeds. The support pressure of the harrow tines is continuously, hydraulically adjustable.
The Cultro TC is a double-knife roller with low horsepower requirement, available in 3m and 12m working widths. Used in combination with other machines, the highly flexible Cultro TC provides excellent cutting in rape or silage maize stubble and in catch crops.
The compact diameter of the roller body allows for a high number of revolutions and cuts, guaranteeing an intensive crush of organic material.
The high efficiency of the machine allows operational speeds up to 20kph while maintaining a low horsepower requirement – the Cultro 12 TC can be easily operated with a 200hp tractor.
Garford Farm Machinery will be highlighting through videos and literature the latest development of its guided hoe at CropTec. The multi-bed, multi-section inter-row hoe caters for growers using on single bed drilling practices, using the company’s Robocrop guidance system with high accuracy and high output per day.
The machine uses cameras to guide side shifts of 30 cm or 50 cm across each tool bar, allowing flexibility to match the drill’s movement and crop establishment. Machine stability is 8–10 mm accuracy and it has adjustable tine frames for crop establishment or altering crop configurations.
Claydon has developed two new heavy-duty models of its TerraBlade inter-row hoe designed to provide low-cost, mechanical weeding in combinable, band-sown crops.
The 6m/20-tine and 8m/26-tine units are designed to work effectively in even the heaviest soils. They incorporate Claydon’s unique contour following tines which can be infinitely adjusted to suit any row width. This enables them to be used in any band sowing system, the pressure on the blades being adjustable to suit variations in soil types and conditions.
The thin, sharp blades work at up to 30mm deep. Requiring 80hp to operate it, the largest 8m TerraBlade has an optimum working speed of 6km/h and provides an average work output of four hectares per hour.
Vaderstad’s CrossCutter Disc will be available for the new Carrier XL 425-625 from November 2019, allowing this versatile cultivator to work at ultra-shallow depths of only 3cm as well as down to 5cm across the full working width of the machine.
Carrier XL plus new 510mm CrossCutter Disc is said to be ideal for conserving moisture in the seedbed, while efficiently mixing crop residues within the topsoil. The shallow stale seedbed increases the number of seeds germinating, and encourages earlier emergence and encouraging an early weed chit.
Claydon Drills will also use CropTec 2019 to highlight the benefits of its Opti-Till System for profitable, sustainable crop establishment. The Claydon Hybrid drill’s patented leading tines remove surface compaction as part of the drilling process, levelling the surface and ensuring that the seeding zone provides just the right conditions for the new crop to germinate quickly and grow away unhindered. In turn, this means less competition from volunteers and weeds, so inputs are used more efficiently and fully benefit the crop.
Pottinger’s new 12″ CCI 1200 ISOBUS terminal, which makes its UK show debut at CropTec, offers a comprehensive function package, via a touchscreen, making it intuitive to use and extremely convenient, says the company.
The menu system is very straightforward and only a few taps of the screen are needed. The screen can be split flexibly, so that several applications can be displayed simultaneously in different sized windows. This enables a seed drill with several metering units to be monitored easily and conveniently in a large format.
The CCI 1200 terminal also supports many functions that are needed for SEED COMPLETE, Pottinger’s complete precision farming package. These include variable seed ate control, section control supported by GPS, and site specific recording of all field data during operation.
For documentation purposes, this data can be imported into field indexing software as standardised ISO-XML files. There is also an agrirouter connection – wireless manufacturer-independent data transmission from the terminal directly to field indexing software in the office and vice-versa
Kuhn Farm Machinery will be demonstrating its latest ISOBUS-compatible in-cab control technology at CropTec, with visitors able to take part in an interactive demonstration of the new CCI 800 working with the CCI A3 joystick.
The CCI 800 is a more compact alternative to the existing CCI 1200, offering an 8 inch screen with multi-touch functionality significantly enhancing ease of operation. It can be used to control any ISOBUS-ready machine, enabling operators to select one universal terminal to control multiple implements, thereby reducing in-cab clutter.
The CCI 800 can control functionalities such as section control, variable rate application adjustment, work recording and documentation generation, making the operation of all compatible machines easier, quicker and more efficient.
KUHN’s new CCI A3 joystick connects into KUHN’s CCI terminals to provide an enhanced interactive control option over the functionality of ISOBUS compatible machinery.
Two larger sprayers models in Vicon’s latest trailed range, the iXtrack T-series, will be making their CropTec debut. The iXtrack T4 comes with 3,400, 4,000 and 4,600-litre tank sizes, and the range-topping iXtrack T6 model boasts 7,200-litres.
These low, short and highly manoeuvrable trailed sprayers come with a suspended parallelogram rear frame that combines stability with soft boom balancing to minimise spray height deviation above the crop canopy and improve application accuracy.
Boom working height is managed by the dual, ultrasonic sensor-controlled Boom Guide Comfort or the more advanced three-sensor Boom Guide Pro offering positive and negative lateral movement on each side of the boom. A further development is Boom Guide Pro Active which uses three levelling sensors on the central boom section allowing faster reaction to changes in ground terrain.
The iXtrack range is fully ISOBUS compatible and with new iXspray hardware and software, operators can take advantage of an intuitive touchscreen with smart electronics.
Biggest line-up yet for CropTec sprayer demonstrations
Vicon is one of 10 sprayer manufacturers that will be putting some of the latest machines available to UK operators through their paces at the event.
Other manufacturers showing their wares are Househam, Lite-Trac, Horsch, Agrifac, Chafer, Fendt, Knight, Sands and Hardi. This is the biggest line-up of sprayers to feature in CropTec’s sprayer demonstration area, sponsored by Syngenta.
Visitors will be able to test drive the sprayers on a one-to-one basis under realistic operating conditions, providing an unrivalled hands-on opportunity at one venue to compare and contrast some of the most up-to-date machines on the market.
A prototype trace gas sensor has been developed by the QCAP project partners and is about to be installed at Cranfield University’s cold storage facilities for further testing.
The sensor offers real-time monitoring of gasses emitted by fresh agricultural products, warning when spoilage is imminent. This will help reduce waste and quality losses in crops such as potatoes, onions and apples that tend to spend several months in storage.
APV’s Liquid Fertilizer LF 600 M1 applicator is making its CropTec debut. The front-mounted machine enables liquid fertiliser to be applied during operations such as sowing harrowing or other tillage operation, saving a pass.
Solid stream or flat fan nozzles can be used, for liquid and inoculant fertiliser. Key elements include accurate dose control at up to 20 litres/min and maximum precision of application. The implement will enter series production in 2020.