Replacing a 3m S Drill Pro, the new hydraulic folding outfit has boosted output considerably for the family farming business.
“We geared up for autumn 2023, with this latest outfit,” explains Huw. “With the front hopper, there’s much better balance on the tractor than a rear hopper, and I’ve a clear view down to the CX coulters, which are positioned for 12.5cm row spacings.”
With 950 acres going under the drill comprising 200 acres of Italian rye grasses with the remainder being winter-sown wheat, barley and oilseed rape, he says output has risen from 3 acres/hour to almost 5 acres/hour.
“I can now comfortably plant 50 acres in 10 hours,” he says. “But more importantly, I can keep up with our two five-furrow Kverneland ploughs as they follow each other up and down the furrow.”
Wrapped around his John Deere 6215R Premium, Huw says fitting and removing the f-drill combination takes a matter of minutes.
“The 1600-litre front hopper with its central packer wheels, takes no more effort to fit and remove than my old 3m front press,” he says. “The seed pipe sits in a sliding clamp on the side of the cab, so once the flexible seed pipe to the distribution head is undone, the fixed pipe is easily released from the tractor and stowed on a hook in the shed. It’s so easy to do.”
He says that ISOBUS control has made the unit plug and play, and with RTK auto-steering, he reckons drilling has now become much more enjoyable, with time to observe what’s going on.
“Calibration and emptying the hopper are so easy, because I can get to everything on the hopper,” he adds. “And with hydraulic depth control and easy adjustment of the clod boards on the power harrow, it’s very much an operator’s machine. All I need now is an extended monitor to split the GPS from the drill screen.”