Power Harrow Combis, Are they really any good?

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
As title. Are they any better than an MF30 drilling onto power harrowed ploughed land after its dried off a bit?
To me the weight on the back of the tractor looks horrendous and the dainty little suffolk coulters don't look up to the job.
It looks like a steam roller closely followed by smear and cannon ball city at snails pace.
Tell me I'm wrong.
Storm coming at the weekend and it won't be drilled by then due a series of cock ups and unforeseen breakdowns.
 

Goweresque

Member
Location
North Wilts
Are they any better than an MF30 drilling onto power harrowed ploughed land after its dried off a bit?

Yes, unless you can guarantee perfect cultivating and drilling conditions every year.

If the land is fit to power harrow, it won't necessarily be dry enough straight after to drill into, so you have a window of time that requires more dry weather before you can drill. If instead you get rain your power harrowed surface turns to a mush, and getting it dry enough to drill will take even longer and maybe miss the planting window entirely. While the next door neighbour with his combi has done one pass and already has all his seed in the ground and being watered in nicely by the rain.

My father ran a traditional MF drill here when we first moved here in the 80s, and when we went over to a combi drill it was a real step up in ability to get seed into the ground in less than perfect conditions. The drill soon went to the great scrap heap in the sky and was never missed (I've still got the carrier hiding in some nettles if anyone wants it :) )
 

Phil P

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
North West
As title. Are they any better than an MF30 drilling onto power harrowed ploughed land after its dried off a bit?
To me the weight on the back of the tractor looks horrendous and the dainty little suffolk coulters don't look up to the job.
It looks like a steam roller closely followed by smear and cannon ball city at snails pace.
Tell me I'm wrong.
Storm coming at the weekend and it won't be drilled by then due a series of cock ups and unforeseen breakdowns.

Front hopper with press and a combi with disc coulters (Suffolk coulters are the work of the devil), it’s a much more balanced setup. One pass straight after the plough or min till ground and your done, especially if your in a high rainfall area. I can usually drill between 6-10kph depending on soil type/conditions and cultivation type.

short videos of us doing some drilling/cultivation last year
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Quite a useful tool, we had one on a dairy farm and it was fantastic for what we needed. One pass with speed discs and back over to seed next year's kale, barley or whatever. Or follow the subsoiler.

Also did a fantastic job of paddock repairs, where cows had hurt the pasture and it warranted renovation.
1¾ inch deep and 5mph does a fair job of impersonating a no-kill no-till after a few months.
It was a relatively light setup on an Alpego p/h
 

FG.

Member
Location
North Wiltshire
I'd say yes.
I'm on heavy ground and up until about 30 odd yrs ago, I was plough, ph, then drill.
Then i built a hitch on ph, extended pipes etc and carried on like that for 20 yrs.
Nice and light on tractor.
2010 picked up a very tidy Lely ph/drill combi.
Great metering system, 3 rows of counters.
Yes its heavy when lifted, but as said before, you've only worked what you've drilled and can just 'nip' out and catch bits on a tricky yr.
 

Lowland1

Member
Mixed Farmer
We have a Maschio/KRM outfit on a piggy back linkage before that a Lely combi and before that various MF 30 drills best thing about a power harrow drill combination is you have no wheelings so seed goes in at an even depth so germination is very even. We used to run it on a Ford 7810 no problem but I've used a 7610 with no problems .
 

icanshootwell

Member
Location
Ross-on-wye
We used to plough and combi years ago, as said very slow unless you have plenty of ponies up front, last ten years or so we use heavy disks to prepare ground and a combi to follow,it does give the soil chance to dry, you can drill up to 8k on nice ground as the disks work the ground as well which speeds the job up. On the front is a 3 m scuffle which is used to lift the headlands which have been turned on, it was cheaper than front weights.
 
As title. Are they any better than an MF30 drilling onto power harrowed ploughed land after its dried off a bit?
To me the weight on the back of the tractor looks horrendous and the dainty little suffolk coulters don't look up to the job.
It looks like a steam roller closely followed by smear and cannon ball city at snails pace.
Tell me I'm wrong.
Storm coming at the weekend and it won't be drilled by then due a series of cock ups and unforeseen breakdowns.
Thought you were going all spring crops.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
Thanks. The old folks wouldn’t hear of them but there were plenty of us back then to power Harrow in front and clat about with the MF30.
Ideally I’d want the seed tank on the front and a front press but I’ve only got 135 hp.
 

britt

Member
BASE UK Member
If you are going to power harrow they are great, as above and that you are not then driving on your seedbed as you drill (so it doesn't matter if it's a bit too wet).
It's the power harrow that you need to get out of the system.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
Hopefully in years to come we will run a min till or even zero till system as we have had reasonable success with these on the continuous arable land over the past 20 years.
At the moment we have ploughed up a fair bit of grass so are looking at conventional cultivation maybe for one year only to make the change to arable. Next year stubble cultivator, spray off, drill. Simple.
 

KB6930

Member
Location
Borders
If we didn't have a power harrow combination drill we wouldn't have had much of a harvest apart from the odd early drilled field in 2019.

How does working 4 inches on the top with a power harrow destroy the soil any more than any other cultivator working the same depth ??. The same job can usually be achieved I one pass of a power harrow compared to at least 2 of a carrier for example and then you need more time to drill it so we might only get 40-50 acres per day with the combi but 2 machines doing more passes to achieve 100 acres is no better. I know different soil types it's not possible to do what we do but if your soil suits then why not

There were a few round the area that went totally into strip till or direct drilling last year and the ones running a cultivator then trailed drill really struggled. Where the rest of us plodding away with plough and combi following got most of it in the ground and got winter crop to harvest.
 

Badshot

Member
Location
Kent
They are a very effective way to get a crop in after a plough

if they are “any good” is another discussion however, I would suggest there is no better way to destroy all soil structures than a power harrow
Oh, I don't know about that.
All the tillage trains round here are doing a pretty good job of turning the top 6 inches to powder this year,, slump city here we come.
 

icanshootwell

Member
Location
Ross-on-wye
If we didn't have a power harrow combination drill we wouldn't have had much of a harvest apart from the odd early drilled field in 2019.

How does working 4 inches on the top with a power harrow destroy the soil any more than any other cultivator working the same depth ??. The same job can usually be achieved I one pass of a power harrow compared to at least 2 of a carrier for example and then you need more time to drill it so we might only get 40-50 acres per day with the combi but 2 machines doing more passes to achieve 100 acres is no better. I know different soil types it's not possible to do what we do but if your soil suits then why not

There were a few round the area that went totally into strip till or direct drilling last year and the ones running a cultivator then trailed drill really struggled. Where the rest of us plodding away with plough and combi following got most of it in the ground and got winter crop to harvest.
Agree, last year i went back to the plough as that was the only way of getting drilled up, in normal years like this one no need to plough, grass is sprayed off and disked 2 or 3 times, then one pass with combi. The ground is level, firm and in good heart. If the soil conditions are correct i don,t see how you would damage the soil as clive suggests, in wet conditions then yes, they stir and smear it.
I would love to go zero till but the drill expense stops me from doing this, there is the contractor option but i do enjoy drilling.
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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