Both incorporate Claydon’s contour following TerraBlade tines which can be infinitely adjusted to suit any row width, enabling the new models to be used in any band sowing system, while the pressure on the blades can be adjusted to suit variations in soil types and conditions.
Simple, reliable and economically priced, the Claydon TerraBlade effectively eliminates weeds or companion crops growing between the rows in any strip seeding system, complementing the use of herbicides in a conventional arable system and providing the ideal mechanical solution for organic growers.
Launched in response to strong and increasing demand for its existing TerraBlade range from owners of both Claydon Hybrid drills and other makes, the new Heavy-Duty models have been designed to withstand the demands of operating in even the heaviest soils. The TerraBlade range now includes six models, the two new Heavy-Duty units plus four standard versions in widths of 3m, 4m, 4.8m and 6m and with 10, 14, 16 and 20 tines.
Claydon claim the pure, simple design of the TerraBlade Heavy Duty models deliberately avoids the mechanical complexity, high capital cost and ongoing operating expenses of some competitors. Carried on the tractor’s front linkage and steered manually, they incorporate a heavy-duty box section steel frame with a fixed centre section and two vertically folding wings.
Requiring a minimum of 80hp tractor to operate it, the largest 8m TerraBlade has an optimum working speed of 6km/h and provides an average work output of four hectares per hour. Weighing 720kg, it has a maximum width of 8.15m, but folds to 2.78m wide and 3.73m high for transport.
Jeff Claydon, CEO of Claydon Drills, began developing the Claydon Opti-Till® concept in 2002 to increase the performance, profitability and sustainability of his family’s 400-hectare arable farm in the East of England. Since then the company has worked continually to perfect and expand its range. In addition to tractor-mounted and trailed Hybrid drills from 3m to 8m, it now includes 3m, 7.5m, 12.5m and 15m Straw Harrows, the 6m TerraStar® light rotary cultivator, TerraBlade inter-row hoes from 3m to 8m and heavy-duty Cambridge rolls up to 12.3m.
Mr Claydon states: “We developed the TerraBlade for farmers who need an effective, reliable, low cost, mechanical method of removing weeds from their crops. This is becoming increasingly important, for several reasons. In recent years numerous agrochemicals, including herbicides, have been lost to more stringent legislation, some of those which remain are becoming more costly and less effective, while an increasing number of farms are turning to organic production where such products cannot be used. The TerraBlade therefore provides a valuable additional weapon in the agricultural industry’s weed control armoury.”
Ideal for use in band sown crops because the unseeded strip between the rows can be mechanically hoed, the TerraBlade is designed for use in all types of strip seeded crops. Its thin, sharp blades work at up to 30mm deep, effectively eliminating weeds from that area reliably, safely and without chemicals, thereby greatly reducing the overall weed burden.
By keeping the unseeded rows clear of weeds during the early stages of crop growth, competition for nutrients, light, air and water is reduced, allowing the young crop to grow away strong and healthy. TerraBlade has the potential to improve yields, drastically lower the potential for carry-over of weed seeds into the following crop and reduce the risk of more resistant weed types developing.
The unit will give years of reliable service, has very low operating costs and offers great flexibility. On farms that drill early, crops may be sufficiently well developed in the autumn to start using it then and the operation can continue in the spring whenever soil conditions allow, up to the stage where the crop might be compromised by further passes.