Charl Theron is a young farmer who a high premium on quality. Last year, he joined his father in law, Paul van Niekerk, on the farm, Boshoek, near Memel in the Free State, and made the wise decision to purchase Valtrac’s Pöttinger Terradisk 4001. In addition, they acquired the APV spreader to mount on top of the Terradisk. Since December, Charl has already planted 100 hectares of cover crops.
Charl is well conversant with the Terradisk and APV combination. Some years ago, he and his father, Louis, acquired three of these implements and they are still very satisfied with them.
Charl says: “Three years ago we saw the APV mounted on the Terradisks at Nampo and decided to bring it back with us to the farm.” The same thing had to be done on Boshoek. They bought a 4-metre wide implement to fit in nicely with their activities.
“Pöttinger’s Terradisk is the Rolls Royce of vertical tillage implements. It runs smoothly through the sandstone fields of the Eastern Free State. I have never lost a disc yet.”
Charl and Paul are seed potato growers, but they also plant maize and cover crop mixtures such as feed sorghum, oats and perennial rye grass. With the cover crops, Terradisk cuts out one tillage run. Previously, they had to use a disc and then a planter. Now they have a disc and planter in one. After the ripper, they send the Terradisk with APV through the field to loosen the soil, work in the stover, prepare a seedbed, spread out the cover crop seed mixtures and firmly compact the topsoil.
As a bonus, Charl and Paul employ Valtrac’s Terradisk to prepare potato fields for planting. The offset discs loosen the soil and properly work in the plant material, and the roller leaves a beautiful, smooth seedbed. The potato planter can now effortlessly make smooth, well-finished ridges where the seed potatoes can grow and develop easily.
With the tillage and planting, Charl works up to 80 mm deep, because the ripper has passed through the field already. The offset discs cut through the topsoil while throwing it to and fro to create a smooth, loose surface perfect for receiving the seeds. When Charl only tills the soil prior to planting potatoes, he works 100 to 150 mm deep to properly incorporate the organic material into the soil.
The depth control of the discs is adjusted by the rear roller by simply adding or removing spacers on the hydraulic cylinder. This is done within seconds without the need for any tools.
Valtrac imports two types of rollers. Paul uses the heavier, solid roller, while sugarcane farmers prefer the cage roller to properly cover the shoots after planting.
The implement combination can be raised high above the ground level for easy turning on the headlands.
The Terradisk and 300 kg APV offer several welcome, well contemplated innovations to make the farmer’s life easier:
A spring-controlled switch working against the tractor’s lift linkage activates the APV’s feeding roller in the bottom of the seed hopper when the implement is lowered and stops it when you lift the implement. The planter’s hydraulic blower is controlled from the tractor cabin. The blowers of the models of three metres and smaller, are driven electrically from the tractor’s battery.
A radar sensor mounted beneath the front of the Terradisk measures the ground speed, and adjusts the spreading volumes according to the speed of the tractor. However, the Terradisk likes speed and works optimally at 13 to 14 km/h.
The sixteen seed distributors of the APV work excellently. Each one covers a strip of 250 mm (125 mm to each side). Although the seed is blown out against spreaders, it works gently enough so that you may even spread sensitive soy bean seed. The strips overlap slightly to ensure the sides of the strips are properly seeded, and in the event of a blockage most of the surface is still covered.
Charl received a calibration bag, a scale and three seed feed rollers for three different seed sizes with the APV.
Pöttinger found that a disc mounted on only one side only puts too much strain on the bearings and hubs, thereby reducing their life. Therefore, they mount their discs on arms at both sides for more durability.
Contact Attie de Villiers on 083-261-9863 or 056-817-7308 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Also visit www.valtrac.co.za to see the whole range of Valtrac’s superb implements and tractors.