The Cross slot vs 750a trial

Clive

Staff Member
NFFN Member
Location
Lichfield
I think one of the issues for CS in the UK market is that a lot of its very good features simply would never get used and therefore have chance to pay for themselves

CS has REALLY impressive coulter travel for example, looking at pics of NZ drilling I can see the value of that over rough hillside pasture with big boulders and uneven seedbeds etc but in the UK no-one drills in such conditions, the more limited travel of the 750a coulter is beyond whats required even

same goes for the coulter pressure sensing system, just OTT for UK soils and fields, Fert system / separation which most UK CS owners have deleted as fert is just not done by many in the seedbed in the UK

I have always thought of it as a great drill and well engineered etc but in the same ways as I appreciate those features in a Hummer as a farm truck, simply OTT for my needs !
 

Mouser

Member
Location
near Belfast
Yes I agree some set ups will struggle in some situations. My point was if you've used a drill that is set up for direct drill/ strip till then if it comes up as expected with the first few weeks (plant population, spacings etc.) then you can it expect yield to be very similar to another one. If someone is thinking "I think I'll buy a Mzuri over a Claydon or a DTS over an Aitchison then I'll get better yields" then i'd argue providing you have the plant counts you need for crop then the drills job is done, it doesn't contribute to yield.

Yes I would expect a drill that shoves down a ton of NPK down the spout to produce a higher yielding crop than one that doesn't put any fert down the spout. I would also expect a better crop from a field that was drilled with fertilser broadcast after compared to one that was given none, wouldn't you?

This is why most of the time yields are similar to others in general. Yes we all get good and bad parts of fields and farms and good and bad bits of weather.

Put it this way - I think any make of direct drill could turn up on my farm (or anyones farm) and if all drilled on the same day in the same soil type/ field and providing that enough seeds grew then I would expect the yield to be the same or very similar. Presumably if they turned up at your place you would expect wildly different crop yields from each drill?

Can you tell me which exactly which direct drill colour consistently yields less crops than another? There is not really evidence of this in the UK as far as I'm aware. We've had debates in the past about the Cross Slot being marketed as yield enhancing drill, there is no need to go into depth about it again but I'll say there is no such thing as a yield enhancing drill, providing you have satisfactory germination and plant population.

Do ploughs increase yield? How about fert spinners? Sprayers? How about which set of rolls?
If so which makes? Its a marketeers wet dream to make you think this is the magic yield enhancing machine when the reality is all are totally capable of giving the yield provided it gives you the plants you need. The reason I like a 750 (with fert too!) is not because I'm daft enough to think it will give me a higher yield than any other no till or strip till drill - it would be totally conceited to think that.
I don't claim to know anything about DD or even arable but to me it sounds like you are dismissing the drill and yield is determined by number of seeds germinated and spacing. Surely this is determined directly by the drill?
 
I don't claim to know anything about DD or even arable but to me it sounds like you are dismissing the drill and yield is determined by number of seeds germinated and spacing. Surely this is determined directly by the drill?

I'm not dismissing the drill. I think it's fine. Fairly over engineered but its as good and capable as any.

I'm saying most direct drills will be capable of producing the same stand of crop or very similar. If this was not the case you would see obvious and immediate variations.

If this is the case then which farmer can tell me that their drill is one which produces the low yields? If they are all producing high yields then they must be the same.
 

PSQ

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Scottish Borders
My point was if you've used a drill that is set up for direct drill/ strip till then if it comes up as expected with the first few weeks (plant population, spacings etc.) then you can it expect yield to be very similar to another one. If someone is thinking "I think I'll buy a Mzuri over a Claydon or a DTS over an Aitchison then I'll get better yields" then i'd argue providing you have the plant counts you need for crop then the drills job is done, it doesn't contribute to yield.
The DD threads usually degenerate into 'Disc v Tine'. From what you've put above, surely the debate should be Variable Rate v Land Wheel.
If DD is constrained by soil texture and moisture, or more to the point, % seed mortality, then achieving successful establishment should be the prime objective; the degree of disturbance is a secondary consideration. [Insert moronic 'reductio ad absurdum' replies about Suffolk coulters here]
Ergo, it doesn't really matter which drill you use, as long as you have the ability to forecast expected % establishment and increase seed rates accordingly, i.e. VR Seed.
Land wheel metering systems are ideal for soils without variability, but we don't have much in the way of Polder or Chernozem in the UK, so why do many Direct Drills use them? And for those with electronic drives, who is actually using theirs for VRS?
 
Why's it not the point?

One drill will create a lower yield, it's very simple.

Yes but you are not even trying to compare the two for obvious reasons. Lets see what happens at the end of your trial and then see which direct drill is the yield enhancing one (my opinion they will all be pretty similar).

Which direct drills on the market do you think are yield enhancing then? And which direct drills are yield reducing?
 
Last edited:
The DD threads usually degenerate into 'Disc v Tine'. From what you've put above, surely the debate should be Variable Rate v Land Wheel.
If DD is constrained by soil texture and moisture, or more to the point, % seed mortality, then achieving successful establishment should be the prime objective; the degree of disturbance is a secondary consideration. [Insert moronic 'reductio ad absurdum' replies about Suffolk coulters here]
Ergo, it doesn't really matter which drill you use, as long as you have the ability to forecast expected % establishment and increase seed rates accordingly, i.e. VR Seed.
Land wheel metering systems are ideal for soils without variability, but we don't have much in the way of Polder or Chernozem in the UK, so why do many Direct Drills use them? And for those with electronic drives, who is actually using theirs for VRS?

Yes. And lets take it a step further who here has to consistently drill more seed than necessary with their direct drill to make up for poor performance which would adversely impact on yield if they didnt do it?
 
Having used a CS for 2 years on a field, it clearly is well made but I still fail to see where this kind of money is.

12t of steel
Plastic hoppers
Seeding unit
Transport axle
Hydraulics

All pretty basic stuff.

Ok the coulters cost but they've been designed now many years so should be coming down in price not going up.

Then the £ is a strong as its ever been virtually so taking that into account as well these drills ought to be half the price which would then make a JD buyer think really hard.

Do the manufacturers want to sell maybe 6 or 7 a year once the initial rush is over at a big premium over production cost or do they want to sell double that number as less of a premium?
 
Location
Cambridge
Yes but you are not even trying to compare the two for obvious reasons. Lets see what happens at the end of your trial and then see which direct drill is the yield enhancing one (my opinion they will all be pretty similar).

Which direct drills on the market do you think are yield enhancing then? And which direct drills are yield reducing?
I don't know if you're being bluntly simplistic on purpose or not.

The Suffolk coulter would probably get 10% of seeds established (guess) and a CS 90%. But to think there's no drill that will come in between these numbers is silly.

There are probably drills that would get 10,20,30,40,50,60,70,80% established, with differing yields as a result.

On our land it should hopefully not be too difficult to get a machine that works well, but that doesn't mean that some will not work.
 
I don't know if you're being bluntly simplistic on purpose or not.

The Suffolk coulter would probably get 10% of seeds established (guess) and a CS 90%. But to think there's no drill that will come in between these numbers is silly.

There are probably drills that would get 10,20,30,40,50,60,70,80% established, with differing yields as a result.

On our land it should hopefully not be too difficult to get a machine that works well, but that doesn't mean that some will not work.

Then given the range of drills operating on a range of soil types on farms (there are Claydons on light and heavy soils, 750's on light and heavy soils all over the country) which ones are yield enhancing ones and which ones are not? I'd say they are all equally capable of producing good and dreadful yields depending on the operator but you are saying that certain brands have an innate yield enhancing ability?

Which one of Aitchison, Claydon, Mzuri, John Deere, Sumo, Cross Slot, Dale, Weaving and Seed Hawk will consistently produce the best yield?

My answer - they are all equally capable of it providing they've got enough seed in the ground and growing.
 
Then given the range of drills operating on a range of soil types on farms (there are Claydons on light and heavy soils, 750's on light and heavy soils all over the country) which ones are yield enhancing ones and which ones are not? I'd say they are all equally capable of producing good and dreadful yields depending on the operator but you are saying that certain brands have an innate yield enhancing ability?

Which one of Aitchison, Claydon, Mzuri, John Deere, Sumo, Cross Slot, Dale, Weaving and Seed Hawk will consistently produce the best yield?

My answer - they are all equally capable of it providing they've got enough seed in the ground and growing.

Spot on as is broadcasting 'in the right conditions'.

The drill bit is a bit irrelevant really. Buy one that nearly ticks all your requirements then adapt it like clive's done, OR have 3 cheap drills so your not stuck to one system!
 
Spot on as is broadcasting 'in the right conditions'.

The drill bit is a bit irrelevant really. Buy one that nearly ticks all your requirements then adapt it like clive's done, OR have 3 cheap drills so your not stuck to one system!

That's basically my thinking now. Not three, but I think I'm always going to stick with two drills - one disc and one tine. That way all these drill debates become a bit less relevant.
 
That's basically my thinking now. Not three, but I think I'm always going to stick with two drills - one disc and one tine. That way all these drill debates become a bit less relevant.

Its a good choice. I reckon in the UK maybe 10-20% of time the gut feeling is a tine seeder has its advantages.

Make sure you buy the yield enhancing ones though - they've got a special barcode on them
 
4m Combi drill with suffolk coulters
8m Min till drill with disc coulters
6m Disc direct drill with granular fert kit and slug pelleter.

Total cost to kit up £50k.
 
Its a good choice. Make sure you buy the yield enhancing ones though - they've got a special barcode on them

No, I still think drills do have a yield effect. I think you're being purposely obtuse on this point. Obviously when that Weaving GD was working at Simon C's it would have had a yield effect - it wouldn't have been able to get the seed in the ground. Yes, you could have got round the problem by not drilling a small seed or cultivating, but that's not the point. It's about the tail not wagging the dog as @dug said. You can accept fitting the system around the drill to an extent so that the drill works acceptably, but there's a limit. I just want two drills because it means I can do what I want wrt to residue management, rotation, cover crops, fertiliser placement etc. and not be limited by the drill.
 
No, I still think drills do have a yield effect. I think you're being purposely obtuse on this point. Obviously when that Weaving GD was working at Simon C's it would have had a yield effect - it wouldn't have been able to get the seed in the ground. Yes, you could have got round the problem by not drilling a small seed or cultivating, but that's not the point. It's about the tail not wagging the dog as @dug said. You can accept fitting the system around the drill to an extent so that the drill works acceptably, but there's a limit. I just want two drills because it means I can do what I want wrt to residue management, rotation, cover crops, fertiliser placement etc. and not be limited by the drill.

Er, how many times have I said providing you get the plant count you need/happy with then all drills/crops are as capable as each other? I'm rejecting the idea that some drills are inherently give better yields than others and I don't think they do, providing you've got enough plants.
 
Er, how many times have I said providing you get the plant count you need/happy with then all drills/crops are as capable as each other? I'm rejecting the idea that some drills are inherently give better yields than others and I don't think they do, providing you've got enough plants.

But that's like saying as long as you can sprint 100m in under 5 seconds everyone is just as able / likely to make the national sprinting team.
 

Make Tax Digital Software Poll

  • Quickbooks

    Votes: 33 16.8%
  • Sage

    Votes: 20 10.2%
  • Xero

    Votes: 89 45.4%
  • Other

    Votes: 54 27.6%

Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

  • 144
  • 0
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...
Top