One-pass seeding on shallow/stony soils with rotavator/seeder combination

The new Maschio Rota-seeder enables one-pass seeding on land unsuitable for ploughing, i.e. where soils are shallow or stony. The combination of a Maschio rotavator fitted with appropriate blades to create a shallow tilth, together with an OPICO air seeder, allows rota-seeding straight into burnt-off leys or cereal/maize stubble. This one-pass seeding is lower cost than traditional plough systems, and provides an alternative in catchy weather. 

For each Rota-seeder, the choice of rotary cultivator model and its blade design are selected according to the ground conditions in which it will be working, and the available tractor hp. 

Maschio rotavator models: C-Type, SC-Type and G-Type offer working widths from 2.1m to 3.1m, and have hp requirements from 60-250.   

The blade design on the rotor is key to rota-seeding success. In addition to the standard blades, two alternative options are recommended: the Cobra rotor with its high number of vertical blades which ensure a good tilth in hard dry conditions; and for stony soils, the Condor rotor with its aggressive steel spikes with wide staggered placement. 

The electronic OPICO air seeder with its radar speed sensor ensures accurate even distribution of seed onto the surface. Features also include easy electronic calibration, variable rate sowing, interchangeable rollers which allow small seed to be sown accurately, and the ability to broadcast or band sow. A packer roller follows at the rear of the Rota-seeder to aid seed-to-soil contact and further break down clods to leave a fine finish, ready for the ground to be rolled. 

As well as establishing new grass into burnt-off leys or stubbles, the low cost of the rota-seeding operation will be of appeal in establishing catch crops and game cover. Rota-seeders can also be used to sow crops into maize stubble and prevent winter run-off. 

A Rota-seeder created from a Maschio 2.8m wide SC280 rotavator, fitted with Condor blades, packer roller, and an electronic OPICO air seeder retails at £24,388+VAT.

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.