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12 Dec 2023

Claydon drilling - not just a stepping stone to zero till

Claydon Drill Hall: 6 Stand number: 600
Claydon drilling - not just a stepping stone to zero till
Claydon T6 drilling into stubbles

Claydon have over 20 years’ experience providing cost-cutting crop establishment solutions to farmers who want to improve soil health and maintain yields, while mitigating against extreme weather events

The design of the Claydon Opti-Till® drill offers farmers many benefits for the soil and crops on their farm.  The direct drill’s leading tine aerates and loosens soil in the seeding and rooting zone, leaving the soil structure intact.  This zonal cultivation provides ideal conditions for crops to flourish and also improves soil health, making for happy earthworms and increased soil biota. 

The cost and time savings over conventional establishment and min till systems are significant in terms of less fuel, fewer wearing parts, reduced tractor and labour.   Less time required to put seed in the soil means farmers have a bigger working window and can drill when conditions are more favourable, and aren’t forced into a corner especially when weather takes a turn for the worse.

The Claydon drill can also be used to improve soil conditions on farm up to a level where zero till establishment can be carried out although this may not bring all the benefits in all situations.

One Lincolnshire farmer practised a plough-based cultivations system up to 2010 before moving to Claydon direct strip till to cut down on his costs and labour and to move less soil and reduce risk exposure of heavy rain. 

After five years, it was felt that soil conditions had improved sufficiently to pursue a zero till route.  However, there was a resultant yield drop and problems with compaction on headlands in particular, (accounting for 15 ha) which the Claydon leading tine had been successful in alleviating.    

The farmer has since returned to the Claydon system, purchasing a 6m Claydon with a TerraBlade inter-row hoe. 

“Since switching from conventional direct drilling to direct strip seeding with the Claydon Opti-Till® System the performance of our crops has vastly improved, particularly on headlands. The key is to understand the concept and how to get the best from it.”

The quick-fit range of Claydon LD-low disturbance options makes zero till possible when the going is good without requiring the purchase of a dedicated drill whose use may not be possible every year.  And when conditions don't permit zero till, there is always the standard leading tine and A share set up.

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