Seeding pastures using a single-pass process with an Amazone Catros and Greendrill combination
Falcon, the leading local manufacturer of rotary cutters and a range of other agricultural implements, and the sole importer of the technologically innovative Amazone range of products from Germany, recently conducted a some tests of some efficient single-pass processes using the Amazone Catros and Greendrill combination, which are traditionally conducted using more conventional methods.
The processes which were tested using the equipment included New pasture establishment, Over-seeding of existing Kikuyu pastures and Over-seeding of maize lands with catch-crop grazing grasses.
The test was conducted using a Massey-Ferguson 7614 90 kW 4×4 tractor, with an Amazone Catros 4003 (4 m) mounted disk harrow, Amazone Greendrill 200, and the Amazone tandem roller assembly. The required application rates ranged from 20 – 50 kg/ha determined by soil conditions, required crop coverage and bulk seed properties. The working depths ranged from ±100 mm up to the maximum available.
New pasture establishment:
For new pastures to be established, tilling and seeding of fallow pasture areas is required and in some cases these pastures had been unused for up to 3 years. Seeding is then undertaken with the chosen grass variety. These lands suffer from compaction and infestation with other weed and plant types. This process conventionally involves ripping and/or harrowing to provide soil aeration and penetration for the planting process. The Amazone Catros and Greendrill combination was successfully used to achieve this process in a single-pass operation. Refer Figure 1: New Pasture Establishment
Over-seeding of existing Kikuyu pastures:
For this process, detaching and tilling of Kikuyu pastures is required where nutrients have been exhausted. Over-seeding is then done with alternative grass varieties. This process is more usually done using a seed-drill type planter, for which the Amazone Catros and Greendrill combination, offered an impressive alternative in our test. Refer Figure 2: Over-seeding of existing Kikuyu pastures
Over-seeding of maize lands with catch-crop grazing grasses:
Over-seeing of maize involves tilling and re-incorporating the harvested maize stubble, while over-seeding with forage or grazing grasses. Ordinarily rolling occurs to to provide compaction for “seed-to-soil” contact. The Amazone Catros and Greendrill combination was highly effective in this test at achieving this process in a single-pass operation, with the most notable benefit being the absence of weeds, which are smothered due to the turning of the soil during seeding. Refer Figure 3: Over-seeding of maize lands with catch-crop grazing grasses:
For more information on these test results or any further information on our range of implements, contact our Sales Department: +27 (0)33 330 5787
The Amazone Catros Disc Harrow is ideal for quick, shallow and intensive stubble-mixing work and operates without plugging, even with high amounts of surface straw. It is used mainly to incorporate maize stalks and grain stubble, the loosening up of grassland or uncultivated land, and the incorporation of organic manure. The Catros is fitted with either smoothrimmed or serrated discs. Various rollers are available to reconsolidate the soil after the discing operation. The roller range comprises a wedge ring roller, cage roller, tandem roller, tooth-packer roller and knife ring roller.
The Amazone GreenDrill is a seeder / cultivator combination that enables the sowing of cover crops directly into stubble and is also used for pasture re-seeding. The GreenDrill Seed Hopper fits together with the Catros Compact Disc Harrow and the KE Rotary Harrow. It is available in a 200 ℓ and 500 ℓ option. The 500 ℓ GreenDrill seed hopper is easily accessed via the loading steps provided. Within the metering system located underneath the seed hopper, is a seed shaft that is equipped, depending on the type of seed and the application rate with either fine or normal seed wheels. The drive to the fan and the seed shaft is via an electric motor, or alternatively, hydraulically. For the control of the seeder, two alternatives with differing levels of operational comfort are available. The GreenDrill terminal, in its basic format, just provides the switching on and off of the seed shaft and the fan plus the initial setting of the seed shaft speed. Additionally in comfort specification, the terminal offers a menu selection to support the calibration procedures, a display of the forward speed and both the area covered and the hours worked. The seed shaft speed automatically matches to the changing forward speeds if the on-board computer is connected to the 7-pin tractor signal socket.