Over the past 35 years, Raglan, Monmouthshire-based agricultural contractor, Stan Evans Contracting Ltd., have developed a strong following of farmer customers because of their approach to quality and doing the job right! Their full-service offering includes all grass and stubble-to-stubble services, which runs alongside their own 450 acres of arable cropping.
Whilst self-propelled foraging and combine harvesting are major parts of the operation, it all begins by sowing the seeds properly in the first-place and establishing a highly productive crop. Business-owner, Stan Evans commented, “Many of our customers have fields of between eight to twelve acres (8-12 acres) and our long-term experience is that our seed drills, the Sulky XEOS Pro not only gives us the best advantage in creating the perfect germination, but it also provides excellent accuracy and avoids over or under-seeding. We’ve now got three of these three-metre drills, have had this model for over ten years and so we know from personal experience it’s better than anything else out there. We just added another one to our fleet this last year because it has proven to be reliable, accurate and a very low-cost machine to operate. Our local Sulky dealer, TAG (Tallis Amos Group) takes care of the aftersales service, stocking any parts we might need.”
Their set-up is a John Deere 6155R, with front-mounted combination which is a DALBO 3m press with levelling tines and the fully mounted 3m Sulky power-harrow and drill unit on the rear. Without having to significantly change any specifications, the Sulky XEOS Pro handles all kinds of seeds from stubble turnips, linseed, grass, oilseed rape, wheat, barley, oats, beans - the list is endless.
Rob Cook is Foreman and main drill operator and is really impressed with the stand-alone, on-board control unit which enables accurate seed placement and avoids over or under-seeding. “We can drill into prepared ground or even into a min-til environment with the Sulky,” commented Rob, “we can simply adjust the ground pressure to up to one hundred kilograms (100kg) when working dry land, or reduce the ground pressure in soft or moist conditions. It’s got a serrated single-disc system that turns the slot for perfect seed placement - it doesn’t smear like double-disc systems. With the on-board Pilot Console we get electronic metering and can measure drill operating speed. We record every field we drill and that information can be shared with our farmer customers. It shows exact field size, exact application rate and can be used as an effective crop husbandry tool. Currently I have over eight hundred fields in our management recording back-up - it’s all part of the service.”
“We often drill as much as two-thousand acres every year with the main drill and that’s a lot of small and odd-shaped field work. But the accuracy and placement of the Sulky is absolutely spot on” added Stan. “At the start, we key in the field name and the application rate and when we finish the field, there is nothing left in the hopper. At the busy periods we will have all three of these drills operating to get the job done. In the ten years we’ve been operating this drill, we have never replaced a disc or a bearing - which shows me that this is real quality of design and manufacture.”