The six-row mounted unit, complete with hydraulic drive for fertiliser placement, telescopic frame, large fertiliser hopper and ISOBUS connectivity, was supplied by Murley, now TH White. “I considered an eight-row to replace my old six-row unit, but I would have needed a bigger tractor to run the drill,” says Jonathan. “But by going to the high-speed SX units, I’ve stayed with a six-row mounted model that uses a variable width frame.”
From Manor Farm, Ansley, Warwickshire, D Goadby & Sons provides a contract planting service for local growers, covering 1,100 acres of maize drilling in addition to the 350 acres it grows at home. With electric seed metering drive and automatic section control operated via GPS through an IsoMatch Tellus GO in-cab terminal, Jonathan says seed cost savings are paying for the extra technology. “GEOCONTROL is a must-have. There’s no overlaps, so we don’t waste seed.”
He adds that planting accuracy is much greater than his previous Optima, with seed placement from the SX units noted as much more positive. “Where we would plant at 8kph, we’re now travelling at 12kph,” he says. “That’s a 50% higher forward speed, with the ability to travel at up to 16kph if needed.”
Keeping with a six-row Optima, Jonathan says the outfit is compact and easy to transport. And used on a New Holland T6.175 on 710 tyres, he says compaction is minimised. “Headlands are much better, simply because we can keep the weight down,” he adds. “I do have a set of 1050 tyres if conditions are really tricky.”
He says that the decision to choose hydraulic fan drive instead of a pto for the fertiliser has brought fuel savings. “I can power up a steep bank or run a gear higher at lower rpm when coming down, without impacting on accuracy,” he says. “This level of control also lets me make fertiliser rate adjustments from the control box, to suit changes in soil type.”
“It’s the best of both worlds – output and precision without needing a bigger drill,” says Jonathan.