When Brixworth Farming was formed in 2000 we established the first year’s crops with the existing machinery belonging to the founder shareholder farms. By harvest 2001 most of the equipment had been replaced with machines more appropriate for the enlarged area. This led to an instant halving of horsepower requirement and a massive reduction in machinery running costs. Today we run a well maintained compliment of modern machinery capable of establishing, protecting, fertilising and harvesting the crops it grows for its customers in a cost efficient way.
Oilseed rape is established using a Sumo Trio equipped with minimum disturbance tines. Seed is metered from one of two Stocks Turbojet Wizard units and is placed in front of the rear packer roller. The other Stocks unit distributes slug pellets in a narrow band behind the roller if required. The crop is established directly into stubble, with or without chopped straw or into a stale seedbed.
Watch our video showing establishment of oilseed rape: our Sumo Trio tined cultivator distributes liquid nitrogen and phosphorus fertiliser immediately behind the tines in a narrow pencil band and distributes seed in front of the roller.
Cereal seedbed preparation
The Sumo Trio has also been used for establishing seedbeds for cereals. However, as part of our blackgrass strategy, we now create a stale seedbed using a Vaderstad Carrier 925 (above) followed by our 12.3 metre Cousins sidewinder rolls.
Although ploughing has not featured much in our cultivation strategy, it has recently been re-introduced on blackgrass-prone fields once in the rotation, usually ahead of spring beans. We run two six-furrow ploughs.
We use a 12m Horsch Sprinter 12SW and a 8m Vaderstad Rapid drill to establish cereal crops. Seed is applied variably according to soil type and the Horsch has the ability to place fertiliser close to the seed.
Lime and fertiliser spreading
We spread lime and base fertiliser variably using a KRM Bredal bulk spreader.
Spring fertiliser is applied at variable rates using a Kuhn Axis 40.1 w spreader. The addition of the Yara N-Sensor allows Nitrogen to be applied variably in real time according to crop needs.
We run a Chafer Interceptor and Bateman RB35 36-metre self-propelled sprayers, capable of spraying at 24 metres as well.
Automatic boom section cut-off and pulse modulation has saved overaction of chemicals by up to 5%.
Crops are harvested using two Claas Lexion 780TT combines feeding up to three chaser bins, depending on crop yield and distance of travel. The combines are fitted with Claas telematics to aid with variable yield recording and performance monitoring.
Each chaser bin comfortably holds 14.5 tonnes of grain, which is taken to the headland, or a convenient area of hard standing where bulk lorries are waiting to haul the crop to Charles Jackson & Co.’s central store.
Other machinery used includes: