UK agricultural machinery manufacturer Claydon celebrated the 15th year of the patented Claydon Crop Establishment System at the LAMMA 2017 agricultural show, where it launched two brand-new trailed models, the 3m Hybrid T3 and 4.8m Hybrid T4.8, to extend the range of Claydon strip seeding drills.
In 2002, the company developed the Claydon System, a revolutionary concept which enables farmers to reduce the cost of establishing combinable crops substantially compared with traditional cultivation methods. The Claydon drill was the only one to run a tine in front of a seeding share to create a tilled strip, then place the seed on each side. This leading tine lifted the soil, with the seeding share levelling and grading, then placing the seed accurately in the tilled strip, enabling drilling into the stubble to establish crops in one pass.
In addition to producing substantial overall financial savings and greater profitability, the Claydon System significantly improves timeliness, enabling crops to be drilled in optimum conditions, which reduces weather risk, results in more even establishment and higher yields. It also provides a range of agronomic, environment and wildlife related benefits, including significant improvements in soil structure, organic matter and earthworm populations, increased carbon sequestration and a better environment for wildlife.
Claydon-drilled crops stood out so well that soon other farmers were knocking on the Claydons’ door and demanding to know what they were doing differently!
While producing record-breaking crops, the Claydons spent the first five years further improving and developing the SR range of drills to cope with all types of crop residues and soils throughout the UK. They also began developing the Claydon Straw Harrow to help farmers improve the management of crop residues.
Having seen some of the conditions that customers were expecting Claydon drills to operate in, the company then spent five years developing the lighter Claydon Hybrid drills from 3m to 6m, with greater clearances and linkage-mounted to reduce wheelings. They also began selling large numbers of the Claydon Straw Harrow to effectively manage stubble, reduce slug activity, encourage volunteers/weed seeds to germinate and to rake them out. This equipment has proven extremely valuable in creating more even establishment and more competitive crops, helping to reduce the use of slug pellets and herbicides.
Last year Claydon introduced the TerraStar®, a fast, low-cost light rotary cultivator, to help to germinate volunteers and weed seeds and, in conjunction with the Claydon Straw Harrow, reduce seed numbers and slug populations. With sensible monitoring and applying the technique on a need-only basis, the Claydon family have saved several applications of slug pellets and chemicals in producing arable crops on their farm at Wickhambrook in Suffolk.
The massive savings in establishment costs achieved by using the Claydon System means that in terms of profitability and sustainability, the farming family are well ahead of where they would have been had they tried to continue farming in a conventional manner.