James Simpson, WJC Simpson, Northamptonshire
'We have had the Tillso rake for two years now and have found it even more useful than we would have imagined.
Because of the very high black grass numbers we still make use of a stale seed bed to gain a chit of seeds. We tend to use a 2” shallow cultivation as our first pass to disturb slug eggs and encourage the chitting to start. This is followed with the rake two weeks later after a spray application has taken place. The soil has had time to weather now so this pass of the rake sets up another stale seed bed which encourages another flush of seedlings to grow.
We use a 6m Claydon Hybrid Drill and we follow this with the Tillso Rake & Roll with Vaderstad Bio Drill box on to apply avadex or slug pellets. This is done at an angle to the drilling to help level out all the ridges. Then the rubber roller is able to help consolidate the soil over the seed.
We have found that when we are drilling OSR in the wet, the soil can get too sticky on the paddle boards and cause problems with stubble bunching up blocking the drill. By having the Rake & Roll we have been able to lift the paddle boards out of the way for trouble free drilling.
The Rake & Roll then comes over levelling the ridges at an angle to apply the slug pellets off the back of the rake which leaves them nicely on top of the soil.'
'The rake also does a very good job of tidying up harvested OSR fields where the sprayer has run down long stalks in the tramlines.
Sometimes when harvesting late into the night in wheat we can find that the chopper doesn’t chop very well leaving a fluffy narrow row of straw. Again we just cross at an angle which spreads it out.
We often use a 165hp JD tractor on the 12m rake which will travel up to 12km/hour, but 185hp means you can travel at 14-15km/hour.'