Conservation Agriculture {CA}.....no more ploughs or ploughing

llamedos

New Member
posted on behalf of @Graham A.B Edwards

Dear Organisers of TFF. It was 42 years ago at Manchester University that a young man decided ,on the basis of his on farm WORK TASK ANALYSIS, {this was for his M.Sc.Thesis ] which studied the farmers calendar year in some detail,decided that "because Land-Rovers, ploughing -first Tractors were in use alongside farmers trucks", he thought that a combination vehicle ,called the TRANTOR TRACTOR [Transport-first-tractor ,not ploughing -first tractor ] ought to be created and so he built a prototype & then built & sold 20 additional prototypes to South Africa, Malaysia,Zambia & Nigeria.
In the 70`s Eva industries plc built and sold 65 SERIES one Trantor tractors [ TRANTOR being TRANSPORT-FIRST not Ploughing -first Tractors ].Quite a few of these very different low-weight high speed trantors are still in use and a facebook site exists for Trantor owners.In 1984 the designer who had obtained his M.Sc degree decided to establish his own assembly facility & built another 65 SERIES Two Mark one Trantors and sold them in to USA, Malaysia,Ireland ,Scotland ,YEMEN,Australia Sri-Lanka.India. to learn about world farming........The uk-company`s directors began to understand that a TRANSPORT-FIRST Tractor was certainly an important need in palm-oil,sugar-cane,sugar beet,maize wheat barley cotton ,tobacco ,soya-bean etc .........big volume crops across the globe.At this time it was Prof. Malcolm Stansfield that informed his students that Transportation & low-draught work consumed more time & effort than ploughing,sub-soiling & rotovating.
The factory in Sandbach produced 65 Series two Mark one Transport-first tractors & the directors learnt a thing or two about Assembling in UK with a UK_supply-chain.......risks that even the more experienced tractor assemblers like Massey Ferguson , Leyland , Case-IH, David Brown found impossible.............................and therefore moved out of UK.
The Trantor team of enthusiastic designers formed themselves in to an INNOVATIVE design & product development team & addressed the supply-chain difficulties in UK by working for MASSEY FERGUSON in Mexico , Pakistan & Turkey but worked closely with TATA =TELCO in INDIA. The MF work ended when Agco became a USA-owned & managed company.
Then in 2005, TRANTOR `s team heard about NO-TILL farming in which the CA [Conservation Agriculture} system has much fewer work tasks and does not consist of ANY plowing at all.Music in the ears of TIL`s designers & market researchers.....................as FAO,worldwide,ECAF in Europe.lots of no-till farmers clubs in USA CANADA BRAZIL etc............................began to be formed & lots of soil science & soil-health academics produced thousands of learned papers........with very few mentioning that "the MACHINERY FOR NO TILL IS VERY DIFFERENT or ought to be very Different to that which is heavy & slow"............because lots of soil are moved in plowing 2000 -3750 tonnes per hectare.........................and very little soil disturbance is conducted in CA-no-Till.
In January 2015,Innovate UK recognised the need for a low-weight high speed transport tractor for the CA-system of farming but also for grasslands,livestock farms & municipalities.
Progress in product design & development sometimes takes patience & time but the TFF has a no-till conference in Stevenage and the farm owner is,fortunately,well aware of the need to change the design of farm machinery.........largely in the direction of that M.Sc of the 1970`s.Thank you for the opportunity of explaining 42 years of work in UK and kindly note the No-till newsletter in USA was ALSO 42 years old this year,Graham
 

Clive

Staff Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lichfield
taking a while to catch on these Trantors

The idea makes sense but I doubt people will be trading their Fendts or Jd's in any time soon - they are like spaceships by comparison
 
EXACTLY...........space ships are designed for airspace but tractors are designed to help farmers do the sensible things that need to be done to preserve the soil.These HEAVY,PLOUGHING tractors damage the precious soil when it is the soil-health that is so important .The plough is a moisture-removal system & ,since the world is 65% drylands, the plough is completely innappropriate for farm work in arid soils.In wet soils the soil-compaction problem exists & the farmer tries to lighten the weight of the "SPACESHIPS" by adding LGP tyres............................not therefore addressing the cause "THE WEIGHT of the Spaceships" but increasing the costs by purchasing LGP tyres .G
 

martian

DD Moderator
BASE UK Member
Location
N Herts
taking a while to catch on these Trantors

The idea makes sense but I doubt people will be trading their Fendts or Jd's in any time soon - they are like spaceships by comparison
Each to their own really...my heart sinks when I climb into a modern monster, I don't even know how to turn the blasted wireless off short of sticking a screwdriver in the speaker, so I dream of Trantor like simplicity. Graham's point is that you don't need draught controls etc if you are simply dragging a drill about from the drawbar, yet every tractor is designed so that it could plough, even Fastracs. Most tractor work we do now is drawbar pulling, so why have all those expensive gizmos (that go wrong and cost even more to put right)?
 

Clive

Staff Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lichfield
Each to their own really...my heart sinks when I climb into a modern monster, I don't even know how to turn the blasted wireless off short of sticking a screwdriver in the speaker, so I dream of Trantor like simplicity. Graham's point is that you don't need draught controls etc if you are simply dragging a drill about from the drawbar, yet every tractor is designed so that it could plough, even Fastracs. Most tractor work we do now is drawbar pulling, so why have all those expensive gizmos (that go wrong and cost even more to put right)?

Maybe if he sticks a Fendt cab on a trantor there could be a market but I can't see me being able to retain decent staff if I ask them to spent 10hrs a day in a biscuit tin ;-)
 

Clive

Staff Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lichfield
When we were moving soil, we had a Challenger with only a drawbar !

Yes our big challenger had no link arms

Maybe JD / Fendt etc should make more of the tractor optional vs standard kit

We have front linkages on our fendts (they were standard) - the rear links haven't been used yet never mind a front one !
 
When we were moving soil, we had a Challenger with only a drawbar !
The movement of soil in the ploughing system involves 2000-3750 tonnes per hectare whichever piece of equipment is used.
These are figures collected by George Randles [ formerly the MD of KVERNELAND UK LTD. who has a vast experience in UK & abroad and in particular has experience with sowing the seeds for many crops & which are the most sensible pieces of tackle to use ]
The point that we all, at the TRANTOR International Ltd. company wish to make [relates to the TFF HITCHIN,discussions this year at GRUNDSWELL] is that if FARMERS move in to ZERO -tillage [minimum soil-disturbance,cover-crops & crop rotation +++] the kind of machinery needed has to be changed & adjusted to suit the WORK TASKS the farmer is changing towards.

These tasks are few in number.
These tasks are DIFFERENT to those in PLOWING .
This means the Drills penetrate the soil only marginally [2.5 inches say].
This means the seed drills ,the spreaders, the sprayers & the trailers need to be lighter ......if soil-compaction is a possibility.
{ Mounting the equipment ON to the tractor needs to be carefully considered if the extra weight of mounting on to the ALREADY too heavy tractor is likely to cause soil-compaction } but ,in all cases the farmer MUST consider how quickly the work can be conducted by the "EQUIPMENT designed for CA-NO-TILL & not at all related to that conducted in the ploughing system.
Not only lightweight has to be considered but ALSO the speed of work.!!
With to-day`s low cost prices the labour cost & the fuel cost are matters of great significance to the farmer.......lightness reduces fuel & can minimise soil-compaction.if thought about sensibly..
Speed is vital if farmer`s productivity is to be increased.& labour costs continue to rise.

There are already over 150 MILLION hectares of zero-tillage [no ploughing] being adopted and UK is behind France {400-farmers concerned with no-till with APAD ,as evidenced by their participation on their stand at Cop21 } and in USA their lead [ 35.6million ha ],follows from the no-till newsletter [ 42 years old this year & sharing its birthday with TRANTOR TRACTORS......which has 42 years of CONTINUOUS product development [ transport-first tractors NOT ploughing-first tractprs] Only Rolf Derpsch has been in the CA system for longer as his learned papers clearly show.

In machinery terms, UK companies ,like DALE-drills { who worked in CANADA ,where the late Edward Dale created his LOW-DRAUGHT focused DIRECT seeders } were useful & very practical pioneers.in the seed-drill sense but not at all related to ALL of the tasks in CA-no-till.They do not make trailers,for example .
Edward`s thinking ,like that of Trantor`s thinking [Transport-Tractor] was to create products, that DO NOT NEED more than the minimum of drawbar-pull.......................the antithesis of those ploughing contests that are so popular !!!.
These two machinery design teams are BRITISH owned and the concepts they propose leave the rest of the world [in farm machinery terms ] simply not yet prepared to properly understand the " IMPLICATIONS of CA-no-till on FARM Tractors & their CA-focused farm equipment combinations"
As Trantor have tried to explain to PERKINS engines..............the CA-system will force them to change their tractor engines in the direction of TRANSPORTATION.......................something they know about ,for they used to make transportation-focused engines.
But still we have to get to the HEART of the matter.........................that UN-SUSPENDABLE SKID-UNIT that all of those 32-million , too- heavy tractors used daily pride themselves on........because of the historical plowing.system.

In the NY TIMES of 9/3/2015 an agronomist informs us that "repeated plowing degrades the soil,killing off its biology including beneficial funghi & earthworms and leaves the soil naked,thirsty,hungry & running a fever".
I think this means change all-round.??
So how do we learn?
The up-coming Groundswellag on June 30th will surely bring some enlightenment for interested farmers but "The Implications of No-Till for the World`s Farm Machinery Industry"are unlikely to even scratch the surface unless the all-embracing nature of the work tasks in CA-No-Till are covered as a whole .[ see final paper at the ECAF Brussels conference April 2014.}
There is some leadership from some UK farmers & a little understanding from some direct seeder-manufacturers but MINIMUM soil-disturbance has to be the primary goal.
Change taking place in UK but slowly. There is some leadership from UK but it is currently uncoordinated
Because USA Brazil & Canada have introduced ZERO-Tillage more quickly than has been the case in UK it is likely that the North American-owned farm machinery makers will be the designers & manufacturers of faster & lighter tractors designed for CA but also it is likely that much-improved Ag-implements ,designed for CA-work tasks will also arrive from N,.America??
Graham A.B.Edwards co-founder....
 
Replying to Clive .I think he makes an excellent point about the cabins......Trantors always have room for a driver and six passenger
Only 3 of them are in the safety-cabin which is OECD &_ROPS approved.
Many years ago our tiny company [ when compared to DEERE,AGCO,FIAT-CNH,KUBOTA +++] realised that depending on the sales volume in the UK-market was indeed precarious ,even for bigger firms like EVA industries plc.McConnel,Cabcraft all of whom helped us in the early years.
We made our decision to hide away from the public & the Chinese Copiers,in order to create products for the worldwide markets that are so very different when you compare Turkey with India & USA and the ASEAN region [Thailand Malaysia,Indonesia +]
We sold all 21 of our first Trantors in to Africa,and found that Zambia was different to South Africa & Nigeria.
We sold an early Trantor in to ASEAN & realised this was a relatively easy market to enter because of the importance of transportation in the vitally important [ to the Malaysian economy ] Palm-oil sector..
We then took a Trantor series 2 Mark one to the largest world market of INDIA [ over 500,000 tractors made per year.] None of their tractors had safety cabins of any kind.and the average HP was under 35 & there were no tractors then with 4Wheel drive.
The size of this market & its type were important but our team decided to create its supply-chain with ACMA & TATA [ who later bought Jaguar & Land-Rover]..
At various times we looked at the EC market in France,Germany,Poland,Hungary & Romania before realising that TURKEY has a 58,000 p.a. size.
We also noted that all 56 nations in Africa IMPORTED their tractors and,,when winning the CALIFORNIA tractor race ,we studied the USA market which is 200,000 strong with different sized tractors in the mid-west to those in TEXAS & the 14 states to the east including Florida,the Carolinas,Virginia,Kentucky,Georgia,Alabama,Arkansas,& others.

What I wish to get across to CLIVE is that the volume of tractors sold is over 1.5 million per annum and our company is interested ONLY in those market sectors that are high volume .......if a state in USA sells less than 500 tractors per year.....we will seek sales elsewhere......an example of our USA strategy.
The situation in a market where 35 hp tractors of a primitive kind are sold is only interesting if we can find sectors that our worldwide market-focused product range is directed towards.& since the trailer size governs much of our high-speed thinking in INDIA we seek to move trailers of about 3 tonnes in weight & up to a normal weight of crop of around ten tonnes.
It is these factors that govern the design & application of TRANSPORT-FIRST tractors.

Whilst working to find the best market to enter in 2005,we then discovered the FAO-work in CA-no-till and developed our product range to embrace ALL of the needs of farmers that had or were moving to no-till.
This meant some interesting findings and we found ourselves only being opposed by the ploughing-first tractors of DEERE & others like Kubota whose approach we much respected.....................even if their tractors are light & FAR TOO SLOW..

Because tractors in Europe are big & heavy & even bigger & heavier in USA,Russia,Canada Australia.......we had to find a market where our unique features speed,lightness & passenger-carrying are important features that the user respects as valuable.
Indian tractors are simple & getting more complicated, ASEAN tractors are right up our Transportation street,& farmers using CA-no-till in BRAZIL buy tractors of a size we already have.
We have,as a nation lost most of the industrial work for FARM tractors since 1984 & about 13 tractor makers have gone to ITALY,FRANCE,GERMANY,Brazil,India Turkey etc..
In UK we can still design & develop tractors if not manufacture the components that are needed.Fiat still assemble tractors in UK and there are a few made by JCB ltd. which are ,like Fiat`s & are ploughing tractors.as Clive notes.
Our designs are created for three main worldwide farming sectors 1-livestock & grassland farms 2-municipalities that buy tractors for hedge-cutting,mowing etc.3-the no-till Arable-farming sector where the Trantor`s design features fit ALL of the Work tasks of farmers using the CA-no-till farming system.
Our belief is that in the market place we wish to address ,{in the world of Tractors,} concerns the service dealers in the future growth markets.
In many of these markets simplicity & understanding by the mechanics are very important and we must design for simplicity of servicing.
That is why all the current designs of SERIES 2 Mark TWO Trantor tractors are built & serviced by the design-team. & if servicing presents practical difficulty the designers are aware.immediately.
In fairness to our approach,we are seeking to build our Trantor tractors in countries that have big markets but where simplicity of the engineering enables the ease of servicing.
What the product range looks like ,in aesthetic terms ,will be up to the manufacturing Partners in the countries concerned.
The partners already have their paintwork & aesthetic shape and consequently,if Zetor was the partner the Trantor would be seen to be like other Zetors and,therefore " the spaceship context" or the "biscuit tin designs "would be adjusted to suit the way in which the partner sees or wishes to see his spaceship or biscuit tin.G
 

Honeybadger

Member
Location
Yorkshire
So the average no tiller maybe has a 4m disc drill weighing approx 6.5 tons with say 1.5 tons of seed in that's 8.0 tons. Say there's some hills etc you would need a normal tractor of 150hp or there abouts weighing approx 6.5 tons, running on 710/60r38 zeobibs at 10psi.

What would the equivalent trantor weigh and what size tyres would it be on?
 

Honeybadger

Member
Location
Yorkshire
In no till farming currently I believe no till drills are used as well as trailers and possibly fertiliser spreaders, sprayers and muck spreaders.

But fair enough what size and weight trantor would you use on a 14t trailer?
 
So the average no tiller maybe has a 4m disc drill weighing approx 6.5 tons with say 1.5 tons of seed in that's 8.0 tons. Say there's some hills etc you would need a normal tractor of 150hp or there abouts weighing approx 6.5 tons, running on 710/60r38 zeobibs at 10psi.

What would the equivalent trantor weigh and what size tyres would it be on?
The CA-Conservation Agriculture {CA} system is a holistic system and farmers need to know what is INCLUDED & what is EXCLUDED.Firstly ,there is the tractor-trailer combination [it must be fast & light if soil-compaction and productivity & fuel-consumption are important on the farm in question].N.B.the combines are getting faster....... 2-the fertiliser spreading needs to be conducted by trailed spreaders in order to be sure there is no soil-damage by soil-compaction ......spreading the weight of the spreader & equipment being very important in rain-fed conditions............The sprayer also needs to be lighter & as fast as possible [bearing in mind the tasks & conditions of soils ] but preferably trailed if there is the slightest chance that compaction & ponding is likely.[speed for productivity & light for fuel-consumption.These are all important elements in the holistic system of farming ........but,of course most of the user-madness concerns the DIRECT DRILL or seeder.
The minimisation of soil-disturbance appears not to be thought practical & sensible by the design teams of drill-manufacturers.The holistic approach to direct drilling ALSO needs to be LIGHT in its weight & as fast as is reasonable for the placement of the seeds & fertiliser.The experienced CA practitioners in UK & Denmark have realised that they need about 50% less horse-power than would be the case if they used "THE DESTRUCTIVE OF THE SOIL PLOUGHING SYSTEM".
But it is NOT only the Horse-power that matters in NO-till........but the amount of DRAWBAR-Pull that is NEEDED or REQUIRED in CA........................I am a fellow of the .I Ag Eng Institution and I have noted that within our profession there is a very strong belief in MAXIMISING drawbar pull......................quite natural ,of course if you are ploughing & producing potatoes & carrots...................................but hopelessly irrelevant to those who UNDERSTAND the holistic no-till CA-farming system.
The work tasks in NO-till are just five but sometimes need to be seven.....................sometimes the farmer needs to compress [ Rolling & compressing the soil after drilling] & sometimes with some vegetables a tine -weeder can be helpful..
Of course ,this is a whole new way of thinking ......no primary & no secondary cultivation & lots of equipment that is UNUSABLE in CA-no-till.
The Trantor tractor concept was ALWAYS directed to "TRANSPORT-FIRST & LOW-DRAUGHT-work SECOND" but,of course,the use of CA-no-till Has taken roughly the same time as TRANTOR to catch-on........42 years & 43 in September 2016................................in CA there is ONLY Farm transportation work tasks & low-draught ones to boot......so the Trantors coming of age is rather similar,in time ,to that of CONSERVATION AGRICULTURE...the no-till farming system.
Now about the weight of the tractor..........................WE WOULD NEVER THINK OF ADDING weight to the TRANTOR tractors by MOUNTING it on the tractor [Soil-compaction & fuel-consumption].......trail-it with low weight equipment.
If you think of the work we have conducted with TATA [Land-Rover & Jaguar] and where we have produced our MECCANO set of components [conducted by Steve Castellani with TATA-assistance] for our current range of Trantors.......in 2 &4 Wheel Drive & 65-120HP...........all completed ....we are talking of "less than 4-tonnes for the 120Hp x 4WDrive version".Our current design work centres on the much bigger CA -no-till market in USA,Brazil,Australia,Canada,South Africa & Argentina where our recent research [confirms that of some other UK no-till farmers] indicates that 200hp is probably the maximum HP required for the no till system........the Quadtracs being soil-sensitive & used to pull DIRECT Seeders of a MASSIVE size in,for example CANADA..
As readers will know, UK is a tiny island & therefore the concentration of our company`s effort has been on BIG transportation problems in farming that arise from sugar-cane,sugar-beet,maize,wheat,palm-oil,pineapples etc.Our more recent work,conducted with some serious help from INNOVATE UK has been directed towards those countries that are big in CA-no-till........................USA being top of this list but BRAZIL being the no-till thinkers & doers in organisations like FEBRAPDP............It is certainly easier to help farmers when they work their fields under arid soils & in the big dryland regions.............................it is easier because it is so obvious that the plough is a MOISTUR -REMOVAL system under this kind of DRYNESS.
It is my intention to try to reply to serious-minded farmers in your forum.Thank you for being there & devising this communication pathway.
If there are any specific & private issues to raise I would be pleased to receive them ,through the person that looks after our current [email protected].......................she is a mature lady so politeness would be appreciated.TQ
 
In no till farming currently I believe no till drills are used as well as trailers and possibly fertiliser spreaders, sprayers and muck spreaders.

But fair enough what size and weight trantor would you use on a 14t trailer?
Firstly,I am against ,in principle,the Weight of a trailer that is 14Tonnes.....I think you mean a 4-tonne trailer with air brakes to truck standards & containing springs [leaf] and carrying a load of ten tonnes.We have been doing this for 18 years at the Holbeach-coop now TESCO where 14 farms serve one depot.Our Trantors were 3.7-Tonnes in weight powered by 128HP Perkins six cylinder engine with trailers of a kind Stewart make in Scotland but which were TRUKSPEC trailers that won a medal at the Royal Show.
After 18 years of learning from the Holbeach team we have been able to win the California tractor race,drive RATHER QUICKLY, from Perth to Darwin to Newcastle to Sydney to Maryborough Victoria with an 80 HP Perkins powered product from Series 2 Mark one [ Now Series 2 Mark 2.].........but realising that ,in so doing,the CA-no-till farmers of Australia need something much bigger .....in our view up to 200HP...........................for their CA-work but NOT when they choose to plough.

Firstly ,I wished readers to know that FARM transportation & low draught work consumes,in the ploughing system.much more time than primary & secondary cultivation.................................often & invariably.

A first principle of the TRANTOR concept is not only its BRITISH DESIGN but one that was trying to enter the Ploughing System,the municiplalities & the livestock & grassland farms........of the WORLD.........not the UK..

We think it is early days in the EC for Conservation Agriculture but it is such a pleasure to lead John Deere.....in a conceptual .......way and to be informing them that they have missed a trick or two.....in not having sensible tractors & drills ++ for CA.....
Despite this,they need to be congratulated on gaining 30+% of the worlds Ag-machinery market despite being very slow to understand soil-health.
The CA -no-till system is the future farming system of the world........possibly not including potatoes & carrots & cassava ??
So what do readers think ??
Best regards, Graham
 
Dear Martian In September 1984 [the 26th] I stepped out of a Trantor tractor in to the RANGE-Rover Of Sir Anthony Bamford as he got in to our Series two Mark one with a Leyland 4-98 Turbo engine.Stuart & myself followed behind in ANTHONY`s [not then a knight of the garter] Range Rover.
This was a private meeting set up by Mike Butler & the MD of JCB ltd [ the late Gilbert Johnson].The objective of the meeting was set out by the writer who thought that the combination of the TELEHANDLER In Ag & the TRANTOR in AG would make sense to what we then thought was a BRITISH COMBINATION to lead the world in Farming.

The instigation was from our side because we had then thought......probably too early............ that we had a worldwide market for our Trantors.

At the meeting at the Post House in Leicester, the consultant to JCB [Dr. R. Wishlade ] and users of Unimog MBtrac & conventional tractors seemed to find agreement that "IF IT DID NOT PLOUGH WELL IT WAS NOT A TRACTOR".

On 30 September 1984 a confidentiality agreement was signed between our company { 50% OWNED then BY TWO PARTNERS } & JCB ltd.

As can be imagined ,this was wholly against the views expressed in the M.Sc thesis which Stuart Taylor had produced..

Taylor considered that there was lots more to do in the ploughing system & on mixed farms than that which DOMINATED the thinking of Tractor designers.
JCB Ltd therefore decided to create a FAST & HEAVY TRACTOR which could plough and they created a FASTRAC.

The innovation of Taylors patents centred on his suspension system & JCB ltd found a way of not infringing on Taylor`s patent.
This was well explained in a letter from D.R.Bell,a Landpower executive.

What was interesting to me in Martian`s note was that "even the Fastrac can Plough" as most farmers know the plough has been central to farming since 1837 when John Deere produced the first steel plow.

These days,the soil scientists are not usually as vociferous as Ray Archuleta of TEXAS [an agronomist] who states ,in the New YORK Times of MARCH 2015......."plowing.exacts a price.It degrades the soil,killing off its biology,including beneficial funghi & earthworms & leaving it NAKED,Thirsty,HUNGRY& running a fever"

I doubt if anyone has expressed the degradation of soil as well as this Agronomist but it does place the 42 Years of interesting innovation in a very different context.....since our company began with £100 in 1973 & has continued with a most inspiring & challenging innovation for many years. .British design is certainly as good as it gets in the world of innovative farming..................... but patience is sometimes important .
 
Gotta love your short and succinct answers !!!!!!
Very pleased to find that,despite their length & reasonable explanations you find them informative........The subjects relate to a revolution in the farming world .....especially in UK.......but also in EC where ECAF are supporting FAO in the move away from the ploughing system.....Did you read the Scientific American article of JULY 2008....Huggins & Reganoid .....which looks at the history of scratch plowing in 6000 BC and 3500 BC the ploughshares........G
 

Jim Bullock

Never Forgotten
Honorary Member
We spoke to a lot of "Direct-Drillers" at Cereals who were interested in our low disturbance soil loosener, as they have come across exactly the same problems as we have with D-D in so much as in UK we have a maritime climate which means we can often get more water deposited upon us than the soil, crops and cover crops can absorb. On certain less free draining soil types you have to on occasion give nature a bit of a helping hand and lossen it. I have heard all the arguments for not going in with some form of tillage tool but life is just too short to wait for nature to sort itself out. (added to which my Bank Manager would not be very impressed if I told him to wait for nature to repay the O/D)
My point is the Trantor No-Till Tractor will not sell in great numbers in the UK if it cannot perform some draft operations. I think you perhaps ought to be looking at developing a self propelled direct-drill. I have seen one in Switzerland built by a contractor and a prototype in Brazil by Semeato. We have SP combines, sprayers so why not a drill as we will be covering much of our land 2-3 times a year if we are going to plant cash and cover crops.
We will be at Groundswell so might be able to continue the discussion there....Cereals was really busy for us..
 
We spoke to a lot of "Direct-Drillers" at Cereals who were interested in our low disturbance soil loosener, as they have come across exactly the same problems as we have with D-D in so much as in UK we have a maritime climate which means we can often get more water deposited upon us than the soil, crops and cover crops can absorb. On certain less free draining soil types you have to on occasion give nature a bit of a helping hand and lossen it. I have heard all the arguments for not going in with some form of tillage tool but life is just too short to wait for nature to sort itself out. (added to which my Bank Manager would not be very impressed if I told him to wait for nature to repay the O/D)
My point is the Trantor No-Till Tractor will not sell in great numbers in the UK if it cannot perform some draft operations. I think you perhaps ought to be looking at developing a self propelled direct-drill. I have seen one in Switzerland built by a contractor and a prototype in Brazil by Semeato. We have SP combines, sprayers so why not a drill as we will be covering much of our land 2-3 times a year if we are going to plant cash and cover crops.
We will be at Groundswell so might be able to continue the discussion there....Cereals was really busy for us..

Jim if the ground has more water than it can absorb then how are you going to loosen wet soil?
 
There is no doubt that for the Direct Drilling ,minimum soil-disturbance issue that the HP of the farm tractor & its weight are critical elements but the DRAWBAR-pull & draught ALSO has to be effectively measured..
In our own case we have ALREADY designed,developed & produced a range of 2 & 4 Wheel drive tractors in the HP band from 65-120 hp category.
We have also been developing an up to 200HP Trantor tractor in order that UK can,once again,lead the world in designing Farm tractors for CA-the no-till system.
Because we have to transport the crop from the combine to wherever,. we need to be LIGHT & FAST...not heavy and slow.

We have made provision for ADDING to the weight..........if that is necessary because of the soil-health,type & wetness.

Of course we do not NEED to add weight when fertiliser-spreading because we can spread the weight on the soil by using a trailed ,rather than mounted fertiliser-spreader.We need speed & lightweight in this kind of work and this goes for the tractor and the spreader.
So what else do we have to do??........not a lot.......and this is,of course the biggest reason why farmers should move to no-till/CA.
The combine may need to be on tracks if the situation you describe is soil-compaction-sensitive.
Why oh why have the bureaucrats decided to increase the weight on the soil by permitting the trailer-tractor combination to be increased ,instead of decreasing it??
We have been fortunate ,as an innovating company,to have been taught about CA-no-till by Theo Friedrich of FAO but more recently we have been able to appoint to our policy-making board Dr Vic Jordan [formerly of Long Ashton] who was the co-organiser of the first world conference on CA in Madrid & whose practical research papers are well-known to those interested in CA.We are also very fortunate to have invited George Randles [ex M.D. of Kverneland UK ltd. who has probably forgotten more than most of us will ever know about drilling when the Accord company were synonymous with excellence. Additionally,we have invited Chris Downes a long term user of TRANTOR tractors & an Agricultural contractor from Yorkshire to add practical weight to our board of directors.
We are not visiting the John Cherry Groundswell event ,due to other priorities,but we have produced an eleven-page PDF-Report covering the worldwide CA-market for those crops that lend themselves to CA but also which have" the most horrendous inefficiency" when they transport the biggest world crop volumes to the processing centre or storehouse.This covers the worldwide volume of crops produced & its figures are drawn from FAO ......a few years back.
In the event of anyone reading this that does NOT like long explanations of FARMING REALITY,& I already have managed to find one of those {!!}, these eleven pages are available [for criticism or otherwise] from [email protected]
As one of the few companies in the world that are addressing the need for CA in the world`s farming system we produced this document as our way of wishing to support what John Cherry & colleagues are doing.We are aware that the tractors & the Ag-Implements are too slow & too heavy for the CA work they are asked to do......but currently John Deere New Holland,and their design teams are simply not creating products that fit the bill of CA-farmers.We,as a tiny British company; cannot hope,on our own, to reduce the weight & increase the speed of farm equipment for CA.We can ,however ,persuade & explain and this subject does NOT.........when viewed in a Holistic way.........lend itself to quick or easy answers.UK is well behind Brazil in terms of teaching but is behind USA in terms of CA volume.We do have to play catch up for a few years but for our own success ,it is essential to be WORLDWIDE INNOVATION focused in the farm machinery sense.Thank you for providing the opportunity for this explanation GRAHAM
 

CHAP Webinar - Innovative tools to overcome the challenges of Regen Ag

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Applying principles of regen ag can incur a range of on-farm challenges. Learn how innovative tools & machinery can help with these hurdles.

This event will be held online from 1pm to 2pm on Thursday 2nd December 2021 so please block it out in your diary.

About this event​

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