Subsoiler to battle blackgrass and maximise oilseed rape performance

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HE-VA has added an ultra-low disturbance Subsoiler seeding package into its line-up of cultivation kit.

Designed specifically for establishing oilseed rape in a cost-effective, timely manner, the new rig has a series of features that aid in minimising surface disruption and maximising seed germination rates.

–    Opening discs

–    Low disturbance legs with variable row spacing

–    Reduced disturbance points with shallow profile wings

–    Aligned V-Profile roller rings

–    Accu-Disc seed coulters

–    Dual hopper Variocast Twin seeder unit

–    Banded Slug Pellet application outlets.

Up front, a major structural alteration allows the headstock frame to accommodate opening discs ahead of the legs. The key advantage of this is the discs eliminate the bow-wave of soil that can be thrown up, disturbing the surface across the full working width of the machine. With discs cutting down through the top layer, that updraft is kept below ground and the soil on top remains undisturbed, limiting weed seed germination and moisture loss. The additional benefit of an opening disc is that it will cut through crop residues, enabling the Subsoiler to work in trashier, damper conditions.

New slimline tines slot into the regular leg carriers which can be slackened off and shifted across the box-section frame to vary tine spacing. Typically a 3m version will have seven legs to create a narrower than normal 43cm row spacing, thought to be the optimum in aiding oilseed rape to outcompete weeds.

15mm wide (rather than the standard 25mm) and made from higher grade steel, the new legs help to further reduce the amount of soil thrown up and accommodate a fresh design of tungsten-tipped points and shallower-pitched wings. These features combine to reduce the draft/power requirement of the Subsoiler by almost half. While these legs are less power hungry and create less surface disturbance they still improve soil structure and create all-important drainage.

Following directly behind, there is a new version of the well-proven V-Profile roller. Its rings are now aligned to closely flank the channel opened by each leg. This creates more sideways heave to close the slot and therefore minimise the chance of seed ending up at a depth where it is unable to germinate and emerge successfully.

This is ideal for the Accu-Disc coulters that follow, providing a decent strip of surface tilth in which to drill the seed. Mounted on individual parallelogram linkages with a rubber-press/depth wheel following behind, they can independently rise and fall to follow contours, ensuring the seed is always placed at the correct depth.

Supplying these double-disc coulters, the twin hopper seeding unit can also be used to distribute slug pellets or other granular products through a second set of outlets incorporated on the rear of the AccuDisc units. Alternative outlets can also be positioned ahead of the V-Profile roller.

“All these features combine to make the HE-VA Subsoiler one of the most comprehensive, purpose-designed packages for oilseed rape establishment on the market,” says James Woolway, Managing Director of HE-VA distributor OPICO.

“Critically the key attributes of low surface disturbance and low draft mean it can aid in the battle against problem grassweeds and has a lower power requirement than more run-of-the-mill machines.”

Available in trailed and mounted formats from 3m to 7m, prices for the low disturbance HE-VA Subsoiler start from £16,858. The low disturbance legs and points can also be retro-fitted to existing HE-VA Subsoilers.

A top-spec, fully-loaded Subsoiler complete with seeder package will be on display at the OPICO HE-VA stand (no. B10) at LAMMA.

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