Like many growers faced with the unprecedented wet autumn conditions of 2019, Dorset grower Will King and his dad Richard, reached a turning point that saw them change the drill. That new purchase turned out to be a 6m Kverneland ts-drill, bought for Spring 2020 to replace a 3m trailed disc drill.
"The ts-drill has proved to be a breath of fresh air." Will King, farmer
“We plant around 350 acres/year, so we had to make some key considerations when buying a new drill,” says Will, a fifth-generation farmer based at East Farm, Tolpuddle, Dorset. “We wanted a cost-effective purchase that didn’t rely on having perfect sowing conditions, nor did we want high running costs.”
“We wanted the opportunity to go in less than ideal conditions, and also to buy more capacity,” he says. “The best option was an ex-demo, 6m Tine Seeder, and it’s proved to be a breath of fresh air.”
“Compared to our previous 3m trailed drill, this one is much lighter, far easier to pull so we’re using less diesel, and it is comfortably delivering twice the output,” he says. “I’ve gone from 45 to 90 acres/day.”
Having sown grass seeds, wheat and barley, he says seed metering accuracy, seed placement and germination have been superb.
“We have a lot of steep rolling land, which ranges from chalk to gravel, and with a JD6215R up front, I have plenty of power to hold a forward speed of 11kph up the banks,” he says. “It’s brilliant, and the auto-reset tines work really well. The tines do move a lot of soil, so one pass with a cultivator to move stubbles and encourage a stale seedbed means the drill is easily capable of managing the rest.”
A following harrow ensures the seedbed is levelled, and when conditions allow, the Kings follow-up with a set of rolls, to firm the surface.
“This new drill has created far more drilling opportunities – without it, there’s a few fields we simply would not have planted,” says Will.