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Ideal seed and pellet mix

PUBLISHED: 09:07 17 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:02 22 October 2010

A new split-hopper design for The Autocast delivers automatic metering and mixing of oilseed rape seed and slug pellets during the broadcasting process.

A new split-hopper design for The Autocast delivers automatic metering and mixing of oilseed rape seed and slug pellets during the broadcasting process.

The development alleviates the time-consuming need to pre-mix seed and slug pellets, avoids the danger of operator contact with slug pellets during the mixing process and minimises the risk of slug attractant from the pellets contaminating seed.

Autocast designer and Cambridgeshire farmer Michael Godfrey said the new design would prove extremely popular with growers looking to establish ever larger acreages of oilseed rape quickly and at low cost.

He added: "The Autocast system was developed specifically to save time and money, without compromising crop establishment and yields.

"The split-hopper design eliminates the unpopular task of pre-mixing pellets and seed at what is an extremely busy time of year when harvesting wheat is the priority."

Mr Godfrey said all new Techneat Autocast machines would be fitted with the split hopper design at no additional cost. A retro-fit hopper and new metering mechanism was also available at a cost of £200.

The split-hopper design incorporates a new metering mechanism, applying seed and slug pellets at an optimum 60:40 ratio.

The seed rate for oilseed rape and other small seeds remains fully adjustable, to less than 3kg/ha if required, with a typical seed rate of 5kg/ha being applied in conjunction with 3kg/ha of mini-pellets.

Mr Godfrey believes establishing oilseed rape with an Autocast fitted on the combine header, where seed gets a good contact with the clean soil surface and is covered by a protective straw mulch, remains the most consistent and reliable broadcast sowing technique.


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