With 400 acres of arable and grassland at Orlham Farm near Ledbury in Herefordshire, GH & JM Samuel run a pedigree herd of Limousin cows and followers and, grow around 150 acres of winter wheat, winter barley and oil seed rape. With their grazing profile based on an efficient, rotating paddock system, together with their arable crops, the father and son team of Graham and Matt Samuel have recently invested in new fertiliser spreading technology which has proven to be an ideal choice.
“We don’t have the latest tractors bristling with GPS technology,” commented Matt, “but we wanted something that was very flexible, highly accurate and gave us detailed reports as to application rates for management recording.”
The Samuels discussed their needs with their local dealer, Tallis Amos Group. Tom Folly, their sales executive recommended they look at the latest Sulky X50 spreader because it did everything they wanted and had a clear reputation for accuracy and reliability.
"One thing that was clear,” added Matt, “was that there are some very expensive fertiliser spreaders on the market which are difficult to justify. Because our tractors are around ten years old, we would have had to invest additional resources, to be able to collect GPS and application rate data. Instead, TAG had the Sulky X50, a machine they have sold quite a number of and therefore had a lot of experience with. TAG have given us great back-up and are always there if we need them, so we knew we could rely on them. The benefit of the Sulky X50 spreader was that it included an onboard weigh scale system and also its own stand-alone data recording system - that we could use on any of our tractors, without making any big investments in technology. When we’d finished the job - whether it be on our paddocks or on our arable crops, we can just take a note of the application data and transfer it to our own management records. It’s simple!”
The tractor-mounted Sulky X50 has a variable spread width of between 24m and 50m and a hopper capacity of 4200l. It works with or without an ISOBUS connection. With Matt’s machine, there is an integrated Vision console which indicates a guidance bar and spread pattern for confirmation of application. The spread pattern is such that the fertiliser flow is modulated from left and right and therefore provides a much more accurate application than traditional systems.
“We’ve found the Sulky to be very easy to operate.” commented Matt. “We’ve never had this level of accuracy before, especially with the border setting which stops wastage around the field perimeter. I can already see the financial benefit - particularly as we are working in a lot of small paddocks. As the machine collects its own data, I record that at the end of the job and it helps us keep very accurate records for future planning. This machine is going to last us a long time and what I like most about it is that it is very simple, you can just get on with it - no messing.”