Drills in line

“Buying a Claydon drill . . has made farming enjoyable again.  I wouldn’t want to farm without one!”

Click here to read Martin Whyberd's original report.

G A Cooper
Whitehouse Farm
Horham
Suffolk
IP21 5DT

Manager:  Martin Whyberd
Drill: 3.45m Claydon SR + batterboard
Soil type: clay, loam
Acreage: 500 ac cropped 460 ac
_________________________________________________________________________________

Rotation  (at present):   osr, winter wheat, winter wheat
(from Autumn 2014): osr, winter wheat, spring beans, winter wheat

Old system:  either plough/power harrow x2/Vaderstad drill/roll
or
Topdown/power harrow/Vaderstad drill/roll

New (from Autumn 2011):
OSR – Claydon and roll or press or flat roll
WW – Vaderstad Carrier (maybe)/Claydon /press or roll
or
WW – Straw harrow/Claydon/roll
or
WW – Claydon/Vaderstadt Carrier/roll

• Pig muck and slurry is available.
• Muck spread thinly – drill straight through it
• Muck spread thickly – Vaderstad Carrier first before drilling
• Slurry – not touched – left to dry
• Don’t use cover crops

From Spring 2015, spring beans will be grown (up to 100 acres per year).  After straw harrowing in Autumn, we will drill into stubble and leave, might roll if very dry (unlikely).

Out went: 

3m Combination
3x4m power harrows
Topdown 3m
Vaderstad drill 3m
Case Magnum 310
5 leg Tim Howard subsoiler and KRM seeder
5 furrow Dowdeswell plough
6 m Flexicoil discs

In came (2011):

3.45m Claydon SR
5m Vaderstad Carrier
Case Puma 195 (drill tractor)
Straw harrow (6m Weaving) 2013

• Diesel usage is now about 40% lower
• Tractor hours about halved
• Yields up about 20% for wheat.  OSR yields similar.
• Only extra chemical is more use of Round Up to clean stubbles
• Estimated Claydon running cost of £4/£4.50 per acre
• We use the Claydon as a “cultivator” on deeper tramlines to level them instead of subsoiling
• Subsoiling no longer necessary, because of no plough (panning)
• Claydon can be used in the wet, we did in 2012
• Claydon drilling does suit EARLY DRILLING
• Heavy roll is required to improve consolidation
• Earthworm number have exploded

Summary

"Buying a Claydon drill has improved our yields and soil, reduced our costs by about £40 per acre and made farming enjoyable again.  I wouldn’t want to farm without one!"