SLDs Team Up at Thurlow

"Thurlow's SLDs are doing the job," says Andrew Crossley
"Thurlow's SLDs are doing the job," says Andrew Crossley

A full range of Great Plains’ Simba kit - both old and new – is helping the Thurlow Estate introduce an entirely new cultivation regime on the 12,000 acres straddling the borders of Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex in the UK.

Manager Andrew Crossley introduced the new regime when three farms that had previously been run separately were combined, and three machinery fleets were rationalised into one, and they moved towards a block cropping system including controlled traffic on 40m tramlines.

The core of their cultivation fleet is a team of three SLDs – one fitted with a seeding kit – that cultivate most of the ground. They still plough 30% of the land for sugar beet, beans and some second cereals.

“The SLDs were chosen because they are a clear evolution from the original Simba Solo – which we had used previously – and the more recent SL, with well-proven components and features that suit our soil types”, says Andrew.

The machine fitted with the seeding kit also tows a Simba UniPress to finish off the seedbeds.

They also have two Simba 10m CultiPresses which are used to consolidate and level seedbeds across much of the area, and an interesting re-working of an old Simba favourite – the Top Tilth:

“Our existing 6m model wasn’t big enough for the new system, and we could not find an 8m model anywhere, so we employed a local engineer to fabricate two 4m models into an 8m one with a novel central beam chassis.

“We could not find another machine that does a better job of levelling our heavy soils. The levelling board skims off the tops and drops the soil in the lows, and we have a DD Lite roller on the back that leaves a really good ridged finish which is ready for weathering”.