Firmer seedbeds allow optimum drilling conditions says George Palmer, who’s been a Sumo customer for over eight years.
There’s 1500 hectares of combinable crops at Northfield Farms in Soham, Cambridgeshire, so getting the right machinery to do the best job is key to getting the job right.
The combinable crops include winter wheat, winter oilseed rape, spring beans and 600 hectares of sugar beet that’s grown across both rented and home farmland. Some of the home farm land is rented out for potato production, allowing a greater crop rotation.
“We’ve been using a variety of Sumo products for cultivations over the past eight years, starting with a Sumo 3m mounted Trio on a tractor between 200 to 300hp,” says George, who then followed it up by using a Sumo 3m trailed Trio alongside the mounted, pulled by a tractor with between 300 and 400hp.
“The greater gap between the legs of the trailed machine is a huge advantage, allowing more trash to flow through the machine. This gives it a much wider range of uses,” says George, who thought the weight of the trailed machine played to its advantage too, allowing for more clods to break up on the heavy soil and on the lighter soils, providing a firm seedbed for drilling.
“As our sugar beet acreage increased, we exchanged the 3m trailed Trio for a 5m Quatro,” he says, which gave an extra set of discs at the front of the machine which, coupled up to a Claas Xerion 5000, was the only tractor capable of pulling the Sumo at a suitable depth.
“On other occasions, we’ve removed the legs completely – which only took half an hour – and used the machine as a set of discs for incorporating trash into the field, allowing for a much smaller tractor to be used.
“The weight is also an advantage once again as seen in the 3m trailed machine, but with a greater impact,” continues George, who says the majority of the Sumo’s time is spent on stubble in early autumn, preparing the land for sugar beet at an approximate depth of 350cm. This is then followed up directly using a power-harrow to create a level seedbed for drilling with a direct drill in the spring.
“We’ve found the 5m Quatro to be hugely versatile in a wide range of situations and, at the same time, one of the best cultivators in its class. The reliability and support of Sumo and their products from Thurlow Nunn Standen – our local Sumo dealership – has also been second-to-none, with any issues resolved as quickly as possible.”