If you are growing crops of any type on a large scale, there is no doubt that you will need cultivation equipment, this coming in a jaw dropping range of functions, abilities and manufacturers. This is one of the reasons that farmers turn to Heming Engineering for help and advice.
Our 50 years of experience in this field allows us to select the right types of equipment based on your needs and budget. By asking the right questions, like the HP of the tractors you will be using and the soil types you are working with, we can find just the right piece of kit for you.
Cultivation covers the loosening and breaking up of soil, also known as tilling. A harrow or plough is then used to prepare ground for the planting of the crop. Seed drills are then employed, and when the plants are established, the soil around them is also ‘cultivated’, this part of the growing process (mechanized hoeing) being designed to destroy weeds and promote growth. The latter being achieved by increasing soil aeration and water infiltration.
As you can see there are quite a few stages here and AMIA and Fleming have equipment for each one.
The traditional sequence of events for ground preparation are as follows:
Ploughing is often the turning of last year’s crop into a furrow, burying all the debris and exposing the clean, lower level of top soil. This is done to either leave the ploughed soil over winter to be broken down by frost, usually practiced on heavier soil types, or just exposing the fresh soil ready for seedbed preparation.
Ploughs also come in a variety of types and sizes, the Nardi range of reversable ploughs being one of the best available on the market today. Semi mounted ploughs are also available from AMIA, the required HP of the pulling tractor ranging from 25 to 450. AMIA also offer:
- The FSV series
- The TV EVO series
- The TM series
- The TLV series
- Light series
As with other agricultural machinery, the range and types available mean that it is essential to speak to an expert, otherwise it is very possible that the wrong plough will be purchased.
Smaller Ploughs are available for compact or small tractors such as supplied by Siromer.
Cultivators can be either discs or tines, used to break down the larger lumps and turning them into a smaller more manageable tilth.
Cultivators or Tillers come in a variety of types and sizes. AMIA’s Valentini range includes no less than 6 models, with 5 more Folding Rotary Tillers (these being better suited to smaller farms or where a lot of road work is envisaged). The specification list is very impressive and a roller version can be supplied where needed. Enokrunken and Thunder rotary tillers are also available.
Power harrowing is often the final preparation of the seed bed before drilling, on lighter soils this maybe performed straight behind the plough, on heavier soils after the cultivator. The result being a level finished seedbed ready for drilling.
AMIA offer a range of rotary harrows, again in both fixed and folding versions. Their TIGER rotary harrow has been designed to meet the needs of small farms and specialised cultivation operations such as fruit and vegetable gardens and vineyards. Harrows also come in various types depending on the purpose they are to be employed for, disc harrows and tine harrows being but two.
Power harrows come in varied sizes in the range from 1.3m to 4m working widths. These units are known for their long service life and are easily maintained.
Drilling is a crucial part, choosing the correct machine for the seed type, terrain and the tractor pulling it. These machines are either mechanical or pneumatically fed, needing to administer the correct rate per acre/hectare, often rates below 5kgs per hectare.
Once the crop is planted the finishing touch is to roll the field with either a Cambridge roll on arable land or a flat roll on grassland. This is done to consolidate the seedbed to enhance seed growth and reduce pest damage.
One of the most common problems our customers face are the stones, clods or crop residues on their land. All of these make soil preparation that bit more difficult. One solution for the preparation of an optimal seedbed is the stone burier. This machine is designed to prepare the soil for seeding, in essence working the soil so that in effect any stones are buried.
AMIA’s Valentini range of stone buriers has no less than 8 models, with a further 5 folding versions.
There is also a related range of ‘Stone Crushers’, these preparing rocky soil for cultivation. Interestingly, crops often grow faster thanks to the mineral salts released by the crushed stones. the AMIA LEON stone crusher is often used to develop or level rural roads, grind rubble, create fire break paths in forests, grind stumps, and to prepare parks and golf courses. The machine is available with a single or double side transmission with gears.
There are basically two types of seed drill, Pneumatic and Mechanical, the latter being suitable for all types of cereals (wheat, barley, rape etc). The Kappa from AMIA has five models of coulter; Shoe, Straight, Curved, Single disk and Double “V” shaped disk. Different types of teeth rollers are also available:
- K4 SE with teeth roller distributors of cast iron
- K4 SC with double teeth roller distributors of plastic
- K4 SF with double teeth roller distributors of plastic and fertiliser system
The Pneumatic model, the Kappa SP has a folding action and is one of the best on the market due to its technical features.
These mechanical miracles allow young plants to be planted from trays stored on the vehicle, the whole process being either fully or half automated. AMIA have several models available the F12 – C12 half automatic transplanter, featuring easily adjustable row distances, being just one.
Other models include:-
- The Florida
- The California - suitable for plants with cone, cubic-shaped turfs or with cylindrical turfs (seedlings). Types of plants: lettuce, radicchio, tomato, cabbage
- The Itala – a semi automatic version for precision planting
- The Plantec One – where the seedlings are placed on bare soil or plastic or paper
This part of the cultivation process is all about destroying weeds and promoting growth. The latter being achieved by increasing soil aeration and water infiltration, plus the addition of fertilizer if wanted.
AMIA’s Thema hoeing machine is designed to be used where crops are planted in rows, and can cope with sandy, middle-heavy and heavy soil. It has an adjustable row distance from 25 to 90cm and fertiliser can be delivered while hoeing if required.
As you can see, the range and type of cultivation equipment is vast, this making the selection of the right one difficult.
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