Claydon’s new range of lower disturbance ‘LD’ options on show at Normac 2020 demonstration day

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Claydon’s new range of lower disturbance ‘LD’ options will be shown for the first time at a public event during the Normac 2020 demonstration day on 16 September, where it will exhibit a 4m M4 Claydon Hybrid mounted drill fitted with the LD kit alongside a 6m Claydon Hybrid T6 trailed model being displayed by dealer TNS.

The LD set-up, which consists of a twin-tine unit and optional double front cutting discs allowing the Hybrid to drill directly into stubbles, chopped straw, cover crops and grassland, can be specified on new mounted and trailed Claydon Hybrid drills or retrofitted to existing models.

Replacing the standard seeding tine, the twin-tine unit can be used either with Claydon’s patented leading tine which relieves compaction and aerates the soil, or in combination with double cutting discs that minimise soil disturbance and reduce the power requirement. Changing from the standard seeding tine to the twin tine is as simple as undoing three bolts and takes just minutes.

The two 44mm x 12mm hardened steel tines in the twin-tine unit are four times stronger than normal 30mm x 10mm tines. Fitted with 15mm points, they feature unique double-leaf helper springs which maintain a consistent seeding depth even in very dry, hard, heavy soil conditions, yet permit enough lateral movement to displace surface trash and prevent blockages.

Providing a more traditional finish than band seeding, the seeded rows from the twin tine set-up are spaced 150mm apart but the brackets which hold the tines in place can be moved in by 50mm. This allows the width of the seeded band to be reduced to 100mm, providing more space for a Claydon TerraBlade inter-row hoe to take out weeds growing between the rows.

Double vertical cutting discs

Double vertical cutting discs

For ultra-low-disturbance drilling of soils which are in excellent condition, the Hybrid drill’s standard leading tine can be replaced with twin 330mm-diameter front cutting discs, either a plain design or Claydon’s 330mm fluted ‘Spiradisk’, both of which are equipped with an integral scraper to keep them running cleanly..

The plain cutting disc offers minimal soil disturbance and reduces power requirement by approximately 50% compared with the standard leading tine set-up. The fluted Spiradisk does an excellent job of cutting through trash without ‘hairpinning’ material into the slot and creates a slightly wider channel with a nice amount of tilth, providing the seed with perfect growing conditions.

The great benefits of the Claydon ‘swap-in, swap-out’ design are the ease and speed of changing from a standard direct strip till set-up to the LD option. The standard A-Share can be replaced with the twin tine set-up simply by undoing three bolts and changing them over, while the standard leading tine can be replaced with the double disc unit in seconds by removing just one pin.

The most versatile drill available

“Claydon has been developing and evaluating low-disturbance options for several years and the new options make the Hybrid the most versatile drill on the market,” states strip seeding pioneer Jeff Claydon, who invented the Opti-Till® crop establishment system in 2002 and has developed it continually to become European market leader.

“With a few simple, quick modifications Hybrid drills can now be used for conventional sowing, low-disturbance establishment, and zero-till seeding, with or without fertiliser placement between or in the seeded rows. This makes them a much more versatile, cost-effective solution compared with purchasing a strip till drill and a specialist low-disturbance drill.

“The Claydon Opti-Till® System is a holistic approach to crop establishment which delivers consistently good, high-yielding crops at low cost for maximum profitability. Over 90 per cent of the Hybrid drills we manufacture leave the factory with our patented ground-breaking leading tines and standard 18cm or 14cm-wide A-Shares on the seeding tines. These do an excellent job of strip seeding any crop that can be air-sown in most soils or conditions and allow it to be kept clean using the Claydon TerraBlade inter-row hoe.

“However, we recognise that some farmers wish to use a low or lower-disturbance approach, either all the time or in certain situations. For example, they might want a lower-disturbance option for drilling directly into cover crops and require front cutting discs to slice through the green material. Others will feel that a low or lower-disturbance approach helps to minimise grassweeds.

“A number of agronomy companies are promoting low disturbance currently. Some farmers have purchased a specialist no-till or low-disturbance drill to do this, at considerable expense. However, often these will only operate well under certain conditions and, in our view, they have considerable limitations, as some owners found out this season when they were unable to operate effectively, if at all. This approach also adds considerably to farming businesses’ fixed costs at a time when economists suggest these need to be reduced significantly.”

Prices* to convert a standard Claydon Hybrid drill to the twin tine kit with plain or fluted Spiradisk double front cutting discs are: 3m/9 tine – £5195, 4m/13 tine – £7495, 4.8m/15 tine -£8685, 6m/19 tine – £10,995, 8m/25 tine -£14,495.

For further details contact Claydon on 01440 820327 or to see videos of the new LD option in action visit


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About Author

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 an avid follower of Stoke City.