After deciding to be a farmer and of course, deciding the type of crop you want to specialise in, one of the most important decisions a farmer has to make is selecting the right drill to get cereal crops off to a great start in the autumn. However, picking the wrong cultivator can be detrimental to drill performance and result in uneven crops. The biggest mistake you can make is to just get a cultivator without considering the factors that are specific to your situation. So, how can you pick the right cultivator to partner your drill?
The first thing a farmer needs to know is the ground he or she will be working with especially if said ground is being used for the first time by the farmer. To the naked or untrained eye, there is no big difference in soil but a farmer will be able to tell how different soils will behave with different equipment. To properly examine your soil, dig a small hole so that you can have a close look at the soil. A sample that lacks clay content means that if you till the soil too much (overworking it), then it will be more vulnerable to constriction with the rain before the planting season even begins. In the event that the farmer is not familiar with the soil examination process, it is advisable to get an expert to do that for you rather than just winging it.
Once a farmer has analysed his soil, the next thing to do is figure out what type of cultivator will work best. It is at this point that a farmer gets to decide between discs and tines. One may look at the various benefits of coil gauge wheels over rubber or planet gauge wheels and discs and think that they might be making a good decision while in actual sense, the type of soil he or she is working with requires agricultural cultivator tines instead. The main thing to keep in mind is that if you are tilling in the wet season, then shallow working discs will prove difficult and consequently, they will cost you a lot more time and resources when it comes to maintenance. However, if a farmer is planning to incorporate farmyard manure or biosolids, then, disc-based cultivators is definitely the way to go. However, you should be careful not to overwork the soil because if the autumn gets really wet, then overworking the ground could get in the way of drilling. It's recommended that you speak with an agricultural machinery specialist like RFM who can point you in the right direction.
Another thing to consider is the type of drill you have. If you are working with a disc-based drill for example, it would be best complemented by a tine-based cultivation device and vice versa rather than if both tillage machines were either disc or tine based.
The last thing in choosing a cultivator is the fact that it needs to be easy to configure and adjust. This way, farmers are able to adjust to the changing soil and weather conditions. Most farmers who have machines with complex configuration instructions end up seeking expert help which bites into the profits of the operation. To avoid this, experts advice having two different cultivation options rather than just one. This does not only make the farmer flexible, it also puts in place a contingency plan in case anything happens to the first machine.