On December 11th we took the next step to sharing our ‘Total Crop Solution’ project with our customers. This was the first field visit to view the test plots and to see the various different establishment results achieved by our three drills. We separated into two groups, half stayed at Ivychurch to watch a video and presentation on what we have done practically in the field - and the other half were ferried off in a bus to the field site to walk the crops.
At the internal presentation, we gave a visual overview of the drills and tractors being used and also explained the process of each drill having adjacent plots and each drill sowing three different seed rates. The seed rates were set to achieve a plot of 350 plants per square metre, 400 plants per square meter and 450 plants per square metre.
In the field - where it was pretty wet underfoot, our customers were taken to the test plots and we explained what had happened to each plot from the point of drilling and then subsequently the tests that had been carried out to measure establishment rates. We explained the data we had collected from the perspective of fuel consumption, with the lowest consumption having been from the John Deere 6195R and the 750A drill - at only 9 litres per hour, because it was a true minimal disturbance, No-Till drill. The worst case was from the Sumo DTS mainly attributed to the leading tine causing a much larger resistance, this measured in at 38 litres per hour. The Vaderstad drill, pulled by the Challenger - burning 21-22 litres per hour measured in the middle. However, this was a traditional disc-drill and is moving a lot more soil and so it would require more fuel than the 750A.
The results we have seen so far are in percentage establishment are Sumo in third place with an average over the three plots of 77% establishment, we think this was held back slightly by how dry the conditions where during drilling, however has improved a huge amount since we have had some rain. The 750A is in second with an average of 86% & the Vaderstad in the lead with 92%. It will be interesting later in the year to compare the non worked ground from the DTS & 750A and the cultivated ground with the Vaderstad then look at weed control especially black grass. We are also going to investigate the cost of establishment and compare this to the results.
It’s important to note that on the Challenger, it doesn’t have the most accurate fuel consumption measuring device, just using straight from the performance monitor on the tractor. Whereas on the John Deere’s we were using the JDLink system to acquire very accurate data.
Some customers tried the compaction measuring spear on each of the plots to find out how each drill had a affected sub-soil structure. Important to note that there were numerous differences in the establishment results, but we will not know how that has affected yield of course until we finish the first year’s harvest. After that, we will drill second wheat into the same plot and have the same measurement profiles for each drill. It will be interesting to find out what differences exist.
We will announce our Spring follow-up in the New Year. We will be publishing the results so far, but remember this doesn’t give any clear advantage or disadvantage until after harvest. But so far, so good!