One pass wonder

Farm Contractor & Large Scale Farmer May 2016

JC Machinery supplied Carlisle based contractor and sheep farm, Staffler Farming Company, with a Vredo Agri Air Seeder, which has now been used on a number of contract jobs and on the Farm.

Company owner, James Fell, had considered direct drilling for some time before research led him to the Vredo Agri Air, with the machines capability of completing the process in one pass a major draw compared to other products on the market that require at least two. Based on the Scottish border, James was aware that farmers were reluctant to plough their grassland due to the amount of stone that needed to be removed, and saw the machine as a perfect remedy for rejuvenating the land, as he explains. “I’d considered direct seeding for a while, so I did a bit of research on the machines on the market, and when I found the Vredo drill I thought it looked great because of the narrow spacing and the fact it can be used in one pass.

“I thought if I can do it in one pass then it’s reducing time and cost, so that’s why I went for the Vredo.” “Another positive of it is not having a problem with soft seedbeds. When you plough a field and reseed conventionally you’ve got to tread lightly on the seedbed for quite a while, but if you’re doing it with a Vredo you don’t have that issue at all.” His confidence derives from the machines Dual-Disk System which delivers a germination rate of 96%. The pairs of discs, set 75mms apart, guide seed into a V-shaped slit in to the sward, whatever the soil conditions – clay, peat, loam or sand. “The first job I used it for was on our farm,” he began. “We drilled straight into the stubble as soon as we got it cleared and it was a great take, we had sheep back on the field in seven weeks, so it was a quick turn around. “We’ve done a variety of work with it now, quite a few inter-existing swards, and some complete reseeds, and all of them have taken really well. “This is the third season we’ve had it. In the first season I thought we would be lucky if we got through 150 acres and we ended up getting up to nearer 250, and a lot of that was through word of mouth. “It’s the sort of thing where people can be a bit sceptical because they’ve tried it in the past and it hasn’t worked, but once they get to see it – and see that it operates – it changes their mind, and word seems to be spreading quite well now. “I wanted to make sure the concept was right, and now I know it is I’ve got no reservations about pushing the Vredo because it’s a lot cheaper to reseed a field rather than ploughing and harrowing – I’d think about a third of the price. “And it isn’t cutting a corner to save money, it’s a method that gets great results. You can even use it to rejuvenate an old sward that’s been down for two to three years, which saves having to completely reseed,” concludes James.

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