Structure so important

James Francis with his tried and tested Flatliner
James Francis with his tried and tested Flatliner

Keeping the soil in good condition is of special importance to  Barrington Park Estates, based at Burford, Oxfordshire – a mixed organic unit that includes 3,500 acres of combinable crops.

Their system relies on ploughing to establish crops, and damp autumns such as the one just past can cause problems. Farm foreman James Francis uses a Great Plains Simba Flatliner to restructure the soils:

“We use it to break any plough pan and compaction that might have been caused, as well as removing damage that might have been done on the headlands.

“On the brashy soils it handles small stones easily. The legs break back automatically if they meet anything bigger and reset themselves in work, which saves a lot of time. Changing worn points is also quick and easy, which helps maintain output. We can also adjust the break-back pressure as required.

“It has performed very well on the 500 acres of heavy clay soils beside the river, which can go very hard some seasons.

“The rear DD roller is a huge improvement on the roller on our old machine, which tended to block and stall in difficult conditions, and was then extremely hard to un-block. The DD rings don’t suffer those problems. They leave a well pronounced ridged finish which is fine for over-wintering ahead of spring drilling”.