User Story: Carrington Farms put new OSR Micro-Wing to the test

There has been much in the farming press about combating black grass in arable crops, especially winter sown OSR. Cousins of Emneth have worked closely with their customers and crop production specialists, Hutchinsons to produce an OSR  establishment system to give minimal soil disturbance and  maximum output with low power requirement. It also minimises weed grass germination.

The result is based on a V-Form soil loosener  with shallow working Micro-Wing Tines followed by targeted seeding and razor ring ‘leg zone’ press wheels which focus consolidation over the seeded areas within the cultivated ‘leg zone’ ensuring consistent seed depth and coverage with minimal moisture loss. The result is rapid and even emergence of the crop which allows for treatment with pre-emergence herbicide and help with the slug pressure burden.

Shallow working at a target depth of 75-100mm avoids destruction of natural soil fissures and worm burrows promoting a robust  root system  with subsequent increased nutrient and water uptake.

The Micro-Wing tines disturb less than 20% of the soil with each pass which requires much less horse power and provides excellent  fuel economy.

Because the seedbed is largely undisturbed by this targeted system, most weed seeds are left on the ground surface, avoiding the germination of black grass seed  previously buried and broadleaved weeds. Tests have shown reduced charlock, cleavers and volunteer cereals in the crop.

The minimal disturbance of the seedbed also allows for optimum residual activity from grass weed herbicides, a key building block in the control of grass weeds throughout the rotation.

Finally, leaving standing stubble in cornfields provides a deterrent against greedy pigeons.
Carrington Farms, Lincolnshire are planting around 700Ha of winter OSR annually. They have taken delivery of Cousins’ first 5.5m ‘rape seed ready’ V-Form and are impressed with its performance on freshly harvested stubble.

Farms Director James Thompson explains that it was Cousins’ unique design features which decided the purchase.  “It’s the only system that incorporates a very low disturbance, minimal leg design with zonal packers. The machine also allows us to band slug pellets and fertilizer, reducing total amounts used and applying only where the crop requires. ”

James had seen Cousins’ initial 3m model and worked with the company’s engineers to apply the concept to a 5.5m folding design, suitable for their extensive acreage.

The new model is mounted on a 300hp Case MX310 with satellite aided steering. Driver Roy Westmoreland maintains a steady 9kph, applying between 2 and 3kg of seed per hectare to achieve around 55 planted seeds/m2

The 12v StocksAG applicator incorporates 11 pneumatic lines which deposit the seed accurately into the narrow cultivated strip left by the Micro-Wings. The razor rings are aligned to concentrate consolidation over the moved soil, leaving a level surface with minimal disturbance.

James concludes “I have been very impressed with the speed of emergence in this first season and, if slug pressure allows, we should be able to reduce the seed rate even further with this machine.”

The new Micro-Wing tine and Razor Ring ‘Leg Zone’ can be retro-fitted to all Cousins V-Forms.
Cousins of Emneth Limited . Tel: 01945 584600 . Fax: 01945 584616 . Email: