31 December 2018

Wear and tear of tyres

When this past August we were in Germany for the "Fendt Field Day 2018" we got very impressed by the machine they had shown to make the parallel of the tires in tractors... something very similar that is done daily in cars. After talking with our friend José Miñarro (from ATG Tire - Alliance), he explained us some concepts that we are summarizing below and that are always very useful when you want to care tractor tires. 

Many times we see how the front wheels of our tractors do not wear evenly and one part of the cue wastes faster than another. The causes that originate this wear are multiple and diverse but we can be sure that the reason is not the lack quality of the tire. It is not possible to manufacture a tyre with one part softer than the other because the rubber of the tread is completely homogeneous and has the same hardness in all the blocks and in all its extension. So, what causes the irregular wear? This is more difficult to determine, but we can give some tips.

When tyres are diagonal (not radial), it is normal for them to be rounded when inflated and for the tread to rest more in the centre than on the sides. In these cases the cue will be worn more through the center of the wheel, but in short it will be a homogeneous wear, but more pronounced in the central part.

When tyres are radial, if all is well, they should support evenly with a flatter footprint. If there is irregular wear in this case, first check whether the inflation pressures are correct for each use, in general they must be high for transportation and low for traction work in the field. Secondly, it is necessary to check the alignment of the front axle as it is possible that with time, the spherical plain bearings take some play and the parallel of the front tires are deformed, causing the wheels do not support properly and there is irregular wear of the blocks.

To measure the alignment there are more or less rudimentary methods that go well to correct an excessive deviation, but that nevertheless can't refine with an accuracy of millimeter. For this there are precision instruments that allow us to correct to the last millimeter and set the correct parallel, as you can see in our pictures.

Other causes that also influence irregular wear are derived from the different uses of the tractor. Water ballasts, the use of front loaders, the number and arrangement of tyre blocks, excessive use on the road, among other reasons can have a very negative influence on the regular wear of the tyre.

We would like to wish you a happy new year 2019. See you soon!!!

Versión en español.

12 December 2018

Direct sowing: Sowing pulse vegetables for forage

The aim of this post is to finish with the sowing season we have dedicated the two previous posts to that. At this time, we will focus on direct sowing (remember that we have already talked about the preparation of seedbed and the different sowing techniques). Our friend Jose Vicente sent us some fantastic photos again. On this occasion, they are related to his works of direct sowing of pulse vegetables with the Solá SD1504 seed drill.

According to him, they do traditional sowing on the farm for the crops they are going to harvest for grain and direct sowing for forage and silage crops. In this respect, the crops which are normally sown using direct sowing are titarros and barley. The yield is higher using traditional sowing but direct sowing has many advantages for silage and fodder. Since these are forage crops, they don't care so much that crops  could have more weeds than when they harvest for grain. In this way,they can save substantial money reducing harrowing tasks and phytosanitary treatments to keep the crop clean throughout the year. On the farm, there is an important goats exploitation that is feeded mainly with the silage obtained from direct sowing crops.

This time he is sowing titarros with a dose of 150 kg/he. The seed drill has a working width of 6 metres and a hopper capacity of 7,100 litres,  so this hopper allows him to sow 25 hectares of this crop without recharging... almost a good working day.

Versión en español.

28 November 2018

Seedbed: removing old seeds before sowing

We are now in the middle of the sowing campaign and in relation to the previous post, one of the tasks to be carried out is the preparation of the sowing bed. In order to perform these tasks, there are several tools that can be used, although without a doubt the most important is the seedbed cultivator.

Many pulse vegetables (yeros, lentils, peas, alverjón, titarros, vetch, etc) have been sown in our area for some years now. The planning of sowing tasks are first the winter cereals  (barley, wheat, rye, triticale, oats,...) and then in a second phase pulse vegetables. In years when autumn is rainy, such as this year, fields in which the pulses are sown are born a lot of old cereal (remember that we use the pulse vegetables to rotate crops along with the cereal) so it is necessary to make a superficial harrowing with cultivator before sowing. As you can see in some photos, fields are completely green as if they were already sown... the grain that the combine harvester threw away in summer was born with the rains of the last few days. It is important to eliminate the old seeds and weeds in order to have cleaner pulse vegetables because phytosanitary treatments are expensive and in many cases are not possible.

One of the tools we use to perform this last harrowing task, just before sowing, is the seedbed cultivator. Many farmers use the cultivator they use to harrow stubble and to prepare the seedbed during the summer and autumn, but if we want to do a perfect work and optimize the time and diesel, ideally we use a seedbed cultivator. In our case, we use the seedbed cultivator that our seed drill incorporates. Therefore, the farmer has three options: cultivator, seedbed cultivator or seed drill included in the seedbed cultivator.

In the photos, you can see two seedbed cultivators which are very similar in their work, but very different in their construction. The Lemken Korund seedbed cultivator that our friend José Vicente shows us is a tool of 7.5m working width with a total of 80 tines in four rows (he uses a John Deere 8330 at 12km/h). It has a double roller that prepares the soil perfectly. Another seedbed cultivator, which is much more "modest", is the one of our friend Julián. It is a seedbed cultivator of 5 m working wicth of 30 tines in three rows and it doesn't have roller but it has a spike harrow and a beam to level the soil (he uses a John Deere 6110 R at 12 km/h). Both farmers are looking for the same goal: to have a perfect seedbed, to remove old seeds and to make this task as economic and fast as possible.

Do you use any similar tool?

Versión en español.