Oilseed rape crops established using a seeding kit mounted on a Great Plains’ Simba SL cultivator produced the top yield in a trial completed in Denmark.

The trial tested conventional plough and power harrow based cultivations – the system most commonly system in the country - against alternative methods from five different machinery manufacturers, who established their own plots.

In the trials, conducted by Sonderjysk Landboferening, a leading farmer-owned union operating in the South of Denmark, the crop established by the SL recorded a yield of 106% of the “control” plot.

The results are significant for Danish farmers, says Jim Thygesen, Great Plains’ Territory Manager, because the company’s establishment cost was under 90 Euros/ha compared with 147 Euro/ha for the control plots, so the crop would have been far more profitable:

“These results reinforce those from other trials in Germany and other countries across Europe, which are all helping prove that our systems have real potential for farmers right across Europe”.

In the trials, each equipment company established two plots of 0.3 hectares each so the distortive effect of any variability across the site was minimised. Both plots were harvested and the yield quoted is an average of both plots.

The yield from the plough and power harrow system was set as the control at 100%. The machinery manufacturers were then allowed to establish their own plots and the timing and method of applying the main fertiliser application.

The Simba SL500 with seeder and fertiliser broadcast 30 days after sowing produced the best yield at 106% of the control, with a Heva Sub-Tiller and placed fertiliser next best at 103%, followed by the Tulip Multi-Disk and placed fertiliser at 102%.

Vaderstad’s Rapid drill working after a tined cultivation achieved 102% with placed fertiliser and 101% with broadcast fertiliser, while one treatment – the Horsch Focus drill with placed fertiliser, achieved 97% of the control yield.

Organisers chose the site at Haderslev in South East Denmark because it was a heavy land site typical of the region, and their aim was to produce relevant results that their consultants could use to advise clients, rather than results that could be considered scientifically secure.

Plant populations varied from 13 to 38 plants/square metre, and while our plot was amongst the lowest, when the researchers cut sample areas from the crop in June and weighed the plants, they varied from 107 to 263 grammes/plant, with those from the Simba being the joint highest:

“Our plots were established by contractor Ole Rostgaard, from Rostgaards Maskinstation, who has been using an SL cultivator for four years now.

“The organisers initially remarked that they though our plots -established with the SL followed by an Aqueel 2 roller – were packed too tight, which might damage germination.

“While we did have one of the lowest plant populations, the plants on our plots were among the heaviest. They were strong, well-branched and covered in seed pods.

“The trial is being repeated. We look forward to seeing how we fare in 2014. We have already established our plots on a light land site near Toftlund, in the middle of the country”.




Great Plains’ Simba DTX cultivator proved the star of the show at Power in Action, its debut at a major public demonstration.

The new entry DTX offers potential purchasers a wide range of options, says David Holmes, UK Sales Director, and this is helping attract plenty of enquiries about the machine:

“Many of the farmers who saw the new style DTX working at the event were impressed with its performance and we secured three sales to stand visitors in the days after the event.

“Even though it is much simplified from the original DTX, users still have a choice of two different style of restructuring legs, three different styles of wing, limited or adjustable disc angling and six different rear rollers.

“This means they can tailor their machine to their precise needs, and achieve further flexibility by switching different combination of working parts.

“That flexibility – and the range of different styles of work it enables the machine to do – is a major selling point”.


Great Plains DTX




Great Plains enjoyed an excellent day at the Tillage event, where we showed the market entry version of the 3m X-Press and ST bar working for the first time.

It attracted a good deal of interest, as did the SLD cultivator and the Centurion drill, and dealers in the region are busy chasing up leads, as Graham Main, from Peacock & Binnington - which helped organise the stand – says the event has already been beneficial:

“We had a very positive show and we have some excellent enquiries and plenty of demonstrations to do. The event certainly lifted our team’s spirits. There was a lot of optimism among stand visitors and the whole day had a very positive feel.

“We have seen a big rise in enquiries for both the SLD and the Centurion drill and are busy demonstrating them both”.

David Holmes says visitor numbers at the event were encouraging: “We were surprised and pleased with the number of visitors we welcomed, given the delayed harvest and how many people might have decided to stay at home and continue seedbed preparations.

“Many visitors wanted to discuss technical issues such as soil restructuring, which has obviously been a priority for many farmers this autumn.

“We answered a lot of questions about combinations of restructuring legs and wings, and machines with that deeper loosening element – like the SLD, DTX and X-Press with ST Bar – are all in demand”.


Great Plains Great Day at tillage New3mXPressinwork




Great Plains is introducing a new seed singulation and spacing system that will enable the Yield-Pro planters to place oilseed rape with the same accuracy they already achieve with crops like maize, sugar beet, sunflower, soya beans and milo/alfalfa.

The oilseeds disc system includes improvements to both the brushes in the Great Plains Air-Pro ® Metering system and the patented Clear-Shot ® Seed Tube.

The new elements will be introduced across the entire range of planters from November 2013, and can be retro-fitted to existing models.

Yield-Pro planters can be set up to work like conventional planters and seed single rows, or use Great Plains’ patented Twin-Row system, in which they establish two rows either side of where a conventional row would be, this technique being proven to raise maize yields by over 10%.

The new oilseed rape disc is 275mm in diameter and includes 250 seed pockets around its outside edge. Each seed is held in the pocket by air pressure, which is released shortly before it reaches the top of the seed tube, so it falls under gravity, achieving the ‘dead drop’ that Great Plains says is crucial to achieving even spacing in the row.

Great Plains has increased the amount of a specially formulated anti-static material used in the Air-Pro ® Metre brushes to prevent “static cling” that can damage metering accuracy, while also using a more transparent material in the seed tube to improve the performance of the monitoring sensors.

“Any seed being used at low rates is prone to ‘static cling’, and these changes will improve performance and accuracy”, says Mike McClure, Great Plains’ Engineering Manager.


Great Plains YieldProSept2013a




German farmers will get another chance to see how well oilseed rape crops established using Great Plains’ one-pass techniques perform at DLG’s Feldtage Show next year, where the company’s plots were sown recently.

“These plots are part of a wider programme by which we aim to show German farmers the benefits of the system”, says Simon Revell European Exports Director.

“There are other competing systems being offered by other companies in Germany, but they cannot establish the crop in one pass and restructure the soil to the depth or as efficiently as we can.

“Great Plains offers a range of machines that can do a really effective re-structuring job – with the SLD working the soil to 300mm depth; the DTX working up to 400mm deep and the Flatliner capable of working as far as 550mm deep.

“The research programme we have been running with plant breeders Pioneer on sites right across the main arable farming areas of Germany has shown how we can maintain and increase yields while reducing the cost and time of crop establishment – improvements in productivity and efficiency that German farmers are beginning to appreciate.

“The DLG Feldtage show is an ideal platform for us to show this system to forward-thinking German farmers, and our plots will certainly do that”.


Great Plains Simon Rewell