CLAAS Sets Combine milestone
The CLAAS production plant in Harsewinkel has celebrated the manufacture of its 450,000th combine harvester and its 10,000th TUCANO.
New CLAAS AXION & ARION Launch in Australia
The 2013 '100 Years of CLAAS' Centenary celebrations began in earnest last week when the launch of the new CLAAS ARION and AXION range took place in Australia. The first major event, in what promises to be a huge year for CLAAS and it's partners in Australia, was announced with great fanfare and positive feeback from users, customers and journalists alike.
100 Years of CLAAS Website Launch
To begin the commemoration of the '100 Years of CLAAS' a new and exciting website has just been launched. Revolutionary in design and content the website will bring you right through the 100 Years of CLAAS in an truly entertaining and interactive manner.
We will have exciting news shortly on just how we are going to celebrate the 100 Years of CLAAS but in the meantime sit back and enjoy the website! Begin your journey here!
Discordon Cultivator Simplifies Cultivation Work
A Discordon minimum tillage cultivator has helped
Brian and his wife Rachel farm 420ha ‘Bradley Fields’ at Dromore in mid-Canterbury where they grow a wide range of cereal, forage and seed crops while also finishing winter lambs.
Brian bought the Discordon in 2010 to cut back on ploughing.
His old plough was showing signs of “metal fatigue” and instead of upgrading to a new plough he decided to buy the Discordon instead. While he still uses the old plough occasionally, the Discordon is now the farm’s primary cultivation implement.
Manufactured by Gregoire Besson, the robustly constructed cultivator combines two sets of discs with a row of ripper-tines and a roller, enabling four cultivation tasks to be completed in one pass.
Discs at the front of the machine chop and mix soil and stubble, and the following tines lift and shatter the soil pan. The back row of discs turn and level the soil and the roller consolidates the soil surface to limit evaporation.
Brian says he is very pleased with the new machine.
Prior to buying the Discordon, most paddocks were cultivated using a plough and furrow press. Now paddocks coming out of crop can be cultivated using just one pass with the Discordon.
“We still do double passes in grass paddocks, but once paddocks that have been in crops like greenfeed rape or ryecorn have been grazed off, we can go in with the Discordon and then drill straight away.”
Brian says he recently cultivated and drilled an 11ha greenfeed rape paddock in just two days – one day to cultivate and one to drill.
Because the bulk of the farm is cropped, the success of the Leadley’s intensive and varied cropping programme hinges on the ability to get crops in quickly and at the right time.
Crops are sown with a 4metre Amazone Cirrus drill and Brian says the Discordon produces an excellent seedbed for this machine.
One of the things he likes best about the Discordon is the ability to hydraulically adjust each section to suit soil conditions. For example, the working depth of the ripper can be set independently of disc depth and visa versa.
“Our soils are fairly shallow and light so we don’t want to rip down too far. Generally we aim for a depth of 170-180mm and operate the Discordon at about 7.5-8.0km an hour.”
Brian says the ripper’s mode of action was another key reason for buying the machine.
With the discs at the front breaking the surface of the soil and mixing stubble, the rippers lift and crack the soil subsurface just enough to provide good aeration.
“Some of the other machines we looked at had rippers at the front and they had more of a grubbing-type effect. That wasn’t what we wanted.”
Brian operates the Discordon behind a 130hp tractor and can comfortably work about 2ha an hour.
“But next year we will probably look at upping the horsepower to 160hp.”
While he still ploughs most of the paddocks that have come straight out of grass, this season he will use the Discordon as the primary cultivation implement on about 50-60ha of former grass seed crop.
“The Discordon does a really good job of cutting up the turf on the first pass. On the second pass we usually lighten up the ripper depth and move a little faster to get the finish we want.”
He says the roller at the back of the cultivator does a good job of compressing the topsoil without completely sealing the surface.
“It acts more like a furrow-press and that means we don’t have to worry about soil capping if the soil gets wet.”
Brian says the intensive mixing action of the discs creates a very good seedbed, without making the soil too fine and powdery.
He says the Discordon also does a nice job of levelling ridges left by the pea viner after process peas have been harvested.
He estimates the reliable Discordon will cultivate about 350-400ha per season and expects it to last a long time.
“It’s a well-built and well-designed cultivator.”
He says the Cirrus air seeder, bought in 2008, is another good machine.
Both implements were purchased through the Claas Harvest Centre-Ashburton and Brian says he is very happy with the service provided by that company.