With soil compaction a problem on a large proportion of the land at Kempsford Farms in Gloucestershire it was time for a change in cultivation strategy. A machine was needed which could do the job best in minimising soil disturbance, and breathing new life into the ground.
With 400 hectares of arable, growing winter wheat, spring barley and winter oilseed rape alongside a poultry unit, the farm knew that to get the best out of the ground, improving the life of the soil was key to overall profitability.
The Sumo Trio immediately presented itself as the solution. It’s main attraction was the fact that it was the first machine of its type that could subsoil, disc, and press in one pass, leaving a seedbed that could be drilled straight into on the lighter ground with minimal disturbance.
After many years of ploughing, power harrowing, and disc/pressing, the soils at Kempsford were becoming increasingly tired with both plough and disc pans present, a new approach was needed.
“The Trio looked right, was well built, and very simple to set up and use. It fitted the bill brilliantly. It was just what we were looking for,” says farm manager Simon Viner.
“Having seen the machine at the Tillage event, we had a demo and bought our first mounted 3 metre Trio in 2006,” he says.
“Five years later we upgraded to a trailed 3 metre Trio complete with front discs and a Sumoseeder, as we wanted to do more incorporation up front, and also to have the ability to remove all the discs (front and rear) to band sow oilseed rape and create minimal soil disturbance using GLS legs/points. This has been very successful.
“Today, instead of selling the straw, most of it’s chopped and incorporated along with the chicken litter into the soil directly,” adds Simon, who believes this has been a tremendous help in addressing the general wellbeing of the soil. “It’s also helped to sort out the compaction issues we were having.”
“The better quality seedbeds produced leave a fine, level seedbed that has much better moisture retention and gives the crops the best start: particularly with oilseed rape where yields have benefited significantly.
“We were barely getting 1.25t/ha under our previous disc and press based system, and now we’re achieving consistent yields yearonyear of around 3.55t/ha using the Trio/Sumoseeder system,” he adds.
“The time taken also to turn around the stubble to planting has halved compared to a plough based system which has led to significant savings in labour, time, and diesel,” he says.
“We’ve had exceptional service from Sumo, who helped us even when the machine was out of warranty. They really couldn’t have done more for us.”