Prime West Cross Slot
Functions of the Cross Slot Technology
Cross-slot technology emerged in New Zealand around 30 years ago, and has evolved through intense university research work in both New Zealand and the USA, and by being field proven in more than 17 countries.
In concept, the technology allows farmers to place seeds and fertiliser very close together in an optimum environment to encourage seed germination and establishment, by using an ‘inverted T’ slot.
The typical New Zealand built machine specification has 27 openers on a 6 metre wide frame, with seed and dry fertiliser hoppers, hydraulic control systems and sophisticated electronics including ADF and memory value functions, complete the package.
Additional optional extras can be ordered, including a materials-handling crane, load cells for each hopper and blocked-head monitors. A typical UK built machine specification has 21 openers on a 4 metre wide unit, seed only, with the same control systems and sophisticated electronics as the New Zealand package.
Again optional extras can be ordered including a liquid fertiliser system.
The benefits of the Cross Slot Technology
As well as offering short-term gains, principally in reductions of time, fuel and machine wear, the long-term benefits of cross-slot technology are what appeals to many farmers. Soil structure, management of soil moisture, improved drainage, increases in organic matter, and more wildlife above and below the soil are all improved under a no-tillage regime. Soil erosion is reduced, if not totally eliminated, and the overall ecological viability and resilience of the land is enhanced.
From a purely economic point-of-view, no-tillage means that farmers only have to travel once across their field to establish a crop, rather than 3 or 4 times under more traditional approaches. This reduces the risk of soil compaction. Crucially though, the proven success rate for seed establishment is measurably higher than under other systems, and fertiliser can be precisely placed where required.
Furthermore, even though the machine can cope with stony soils and ridged land, the improvement of earthworm activity leads to a reduction in machine wear through the natural tendency of nature’s little earth workers to bury surface stones under their worm casts.
Because the technology permits seeding immediately after harvesting, many crops leave a helpful residue of degradable material which provides insulation and protection for the establishing seeds. This No-till machine copes with large amounts of residue, and avoids the common difficulty with other forms of direct drilling, as it does not suffer ‘hair-pinning’– the trapping of stalks around the seed zone.
Primewest manufactures 3, 4 and 5 metre Drills, these are available with liquid fertiliser. In our experience a 3 metre Drill will easily cope with drilling 1500 acres a year with some spring cropping. We currently drill almost 3000 acres a year with our 4 metre machine, but that is spread over a large geographical area. One of our clients has replaced a Quadtrac and an 8 metre Drill with a 5 metre Primewest Cross Slot and a 350hp Tractor.
Primewest will happily provide a contracting service with our Cross Slot drill, sell you a new machine and also provide an after sales service and a parts service. You have no need to worry about parts coming from abroad, we keep a well stocked store here in the UK.