Dry Spring highlights clever drill design

Dry Spring highlights clever drill design

The Mzuri system is widely recognised as Europe’s principal one pass strip tillage system, unrivaled in cultivation, reconsolidation and seed placement accuracy. Ben Knight demonstrates why.

As Mzuri's farm manager and knowledge exchange officer, I get to see a lot of Mzuri drilled crops around the country as well as those established by conventional and min-till methods. One thing that has struck me this Spring is how well Mzuri Pro-Til established crops have coped with the relentless dry weather.

On the Mzuri trial farm, the jovially named 'Peopleton Umbrella' struck again and saw us with no measurable rain since the Cheltenham festival. Thankfully, the Pro-Til's ability to cultivate, reconsolidate and seed into the perfect nursery seedbed, surrounded by structured soil, gave us the edge when it came to preserving moisture and supporting crop growth sans rainfall. Despite this, both our Winter and Spring crops look well and benefited from rooting into moisture - preserved by previous crop residue and have gone on to produce, healthy viable crops. However, you don't have to go far to find crops that weren't so lucky. I've seen both conventional and min-till crops in surrounding areas struggle with the drought from a combination of either moisture loss at drilling, or a lack of sufficient seed to soil contact and poor reconsolidation.

This is why I can see the value in the Pro-Til's cleverly designed features that allow us to prepare and seed into the perfect nursery seedbed, without compromising establishment or soil health. It is the collection of unique features that are laid out below and overleaf that makes the Mzuri Pro-Til an incredible tool for consistent crop establishment across a range of seasons.

I'm pleased to see so many Mzuri users reaping the rewards of the Pro-Til's clever design and what is proving to be a reliable crop establishment system time and time again.

It's all in the design

Zone A – Cultivation

The serrated disc cuts through the surface straw allowing the residue to flow freely to either side of the tilled strip. The auto-reset tine, coupled with replacement point and wing, cultivate the seeding zone to ensure a clean strip of moist, friable soil, free from surface residue. Band placement of fertiliser below the seed reduces the fertiliser requirement and ensures early nutrient accessibility, providing essential support for quick, strong and healthy establishment.

Zone B – Reconsolidation

A key feature with the Mzuri’s unique design is the fact that all of the machine’s weight is evenly spread across all of the cultivated strips, fundamental in reconsolidating the tilled strip to remove air pockets, widely recognised as very necessary to ensure quick, healthy root development.

Zone C – Seeding

The coulter tool bar works totally independently to the cultivation zone, ensuring easy adjustment and constant seed depth control. Each coulter hydraulically exerts pressure to each of the seed depth wheels to ensure accurate seed placement and excellent seed to soil contact for quick and even germination. Each coulter arm features a patented pivot to provide optimum seed placement within the tilled zone.

Benefits of the Mzuri Pro-Til

  1. Targeted tilth promotes even germination across the whole field, particularly noticeable on the headlands.
  2. Excellent seed to soil contact and dual reconsolidation removes air pockets and ensures quick, healthy root development - eliminating hairpinning and other common direct establishment problems.
  3. The uniform growth of the crop makes timely herbicide application easily achievable.
  4. Soil compaction and erosion is reduced by eliminating conventional cultivations – the same tramlines can be used year after year.
  5. Staggered tines and high trash clearance allow for drilling into high biomass cover crops, meaning crop residue can be left in the field, on the surface, providing organic matter and resources for micro-organism activity.
  6. Tillaging only a targeted area will make dramatic savings in cultivation costs with huge reduction in fuel and labour costs.
  7. The Mzuri non-inversion tillage system will increase the soil’s organic matter and worm population; this will in turn further improve the soil structure and fertility.
  8. The physical condition of the soil will quickly improve to a more friable structure with a better balance of air, minerals, humus and water.

You can read this update from Mzuri on TFF's AGVendor...

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...