Dale Drills

Dale Drills is an agricultural seed drill manufacturing firm, based in the UK, specialising in direct drills. Our drills are renowned for their excellent contour following, accurate seed placement and low power requirement. Capable of drilling in direct, min-till and conventional seedbeds, our range of drills are some of the most versatile drills on the market.

Company details

Pepperdale House Farm, Howsham, Market Rasen , Lincolnshire , LN7 6LF United Kingdom

Locations Served

Business Type:
Industry Type:
Agriculture - Crop Cultivation
Market Focus:
Internationally (various countries)
$1,000,000 US - $10,000,000 US

  • Dale Drills was created by myself John 'Edward' Dale. I have farmed in Lincolnshire for 30 years, and also, more recently, on the prairies in Canada. While farming in Canada the benefits of 'zero till' drilling were obvious to me.
  • Although many conditions in Britain are very different to Canadian conditions, I felt there was an opening for a direct drill in the U.K. using 'Seed Hawk' tines.
  • I therefore imported enough tines from 'Seed Hawk,' Canada's most successful drill manufacturer, and made a 6 metre drill to try on my land in Lincolnshire.
  • Since then a more compact 6m drill has been launched, as have 3m and 4m models. An 8m model has also been produced, utilised on our farm in a Controlled Traffic system.
  • As well as having sold drills, which are working on farms, we also do contract drilling locally and hire drills out to people further away.
  • This gives my staff and I a constant stream of information on how the drill performs in differing conditions all over the U.K, which has enabled us to develop and improve the drill to match these conditions.
  • In 2000 we were awarded the Science into Practice award from M.A.F.F. for the drills ability to create wealth by reducing cost, and to improve the quality of life with a beneficial environmental impact.
  • In 2005 at the Royal Show, the drill was presented with the Institution of Agricultural Engineers award for sustainability in design and use.

In early 2007 it became clear that larger drills were required, not only here in the UK but also in the new EU countries of Eastern Europe. Although 6m Zero Till drills were able to fold down to road transport dimensions, the 8m version could not. A drill that was compact enough to fold down to road transport widths whilst also being large enough for the farms of Eastern Europe and capable of coping with the difficulties of direct drilling, was needed. The All Till Drill was the answer to these requirements.

In November 2007 the All Till Drill was shown at the Agritechnica Show in Hanover, Germany. Many farmers showed huge interest in the drill and some returned to the stand after being around the whole show to say that the drill was the most impressive machine they had seen.

Whilst the All Till Drill solves the problem of a direct drill that will fold to road transport widths, customers wanting smaller drills were still interested in the Zero Till Drill. After almost 10 years of producing Zero Till Drills with the Seed Hawk tine assemblies we saw an opportunity to improve them. In 2009 we built the first Eco-Drill.

The Eco-Drill, manufactured entirely in the UK, gives superior contour following, accurate seed placement and leaves a more level surface than the Zero Till tine assemblies. At LAMMA 2010 the Eco-Drill won three trophies:

  • Best new product or innovation worth over £5,000.
  • Best new product or innovation from a manufacturer based in Lincolnshire or Nottinghamshuire.
  • Best new product or innovation at LAMMA 2010.

Following its success at LAMMA the Eco-Drill's popularity grew. Eco-Drill's have been sold to several farmers involved in CTF (Controlled Traffic Farming) due to the its ability to fit into such systems. The Eco-Drill has also been popular with farmers just moving into direct drilling as it's versatility allows for use in almost any type of seedbed.

In 2010 a 12 meter wide Eco-Drill was designed and manufactured for use on a farm in Bedfordshire. The drill fold into 5 sections making it suitable for road transport without the need for an escort.

In 2011 it became clear that some of the unique selling points of the direct drills we have produced would translate well towards a more conventional drill, particularly low draught tines. Having converted Simba FreeFlow drills for a number of years with our own unique bolt on tine assembly, we knew we had a concept that worked. We therefore set about designing our own drill intended for the conventional market but that maintained our philosophy of being as versatile as possible. The MTD (Mounted Tine Drill) was the result and following testing in the spring of 2011, we launched the MTD at the Cereals show that year.