Watch: Putting min-till systems to the test in Co. Carlow

Reduced tillage is becoming more and more of a talking point in the Irish tillage sector.

This week, AgriLand went along to see trials being set up for the year ahead with a number of different types of minimum-tillage machinery.

Interest is building in the method all of the time, as is evident from the high uptake of minimum-tillage equipment on the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS).

As of October 1, 2018, minimum-disturbance tillage equipment accounted for the majority of purchases on the tillage TAMS. 665 pieces of minimum-tillage machinery were purchased.

Three different field size plots were set up, each cultivated using a different machine.

Cultivation equipment used:
  • Vaderstad TopDown;
  • Lemken Rubin 9;
  • Lemken Karat 9.

The whole field was then planted with spring barley using a Lemken Solitair 9 drill, which was fitted with a Heliodor disc.

A yield monitor will be used at harvest time to assess the difference in crop yield between the plots.

Machinery on show

The Karat 9 was disturbing about 5in of soil. The seedbed it left behind can be seen in the pictures below.

The Rubin 9 was tilling to a depth of approximately 4in, while the Solitair 9 drill which followed was discing to approximately 3in.

Below is the seedbed left after the Vaderstad TopDown. AgriLand did not see this machine in action.