Deep Tillage demand, Serafin looks to Europe for a new approach

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Demand for deep tillage equipment has led Serafin Machinery to look to Europe for a new approach

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Farmet’s Softer high-speed compact disc cultivators can be used for breaking up stubble or preparing the soil

Demand for deep tillage equipment has been on the rise Australia-wide in recent years, as farmers seek tougher and heavier equipment to break through heavier than normal soils. 

For Serafin Machinery, which specialises in providing seeding and tillage equipment from manufacturers as diverse as France’s Erme and Brazil’s Baldan and Tatu Marchesan, it was time to look further afield, company sales manager Rodney Dunn says.

"Deep tillage at the moment is quite a hot topic – there is trail work and there are a lot of people looking at getting into it, if they are not already into it," he says.

This led Serafin to Farmet, a 25-year-old company based in the Czech Republic, which Dunn says is "completely different to what we have at the moment".

"The good thing is none of the products directly overlap with what we already have from Baldan and Tatu, which expands our range and gives our dealers a bigger range of products to be able to offer as well," he says.

"We have got the first batch turning up in late February, early March, and we have got some more turning up in April." 

One of the key strengths of Farmet is the diversity of soil types and treatments it caters for.

"In the Czech Republic there are many large, medium and small agricultural enterprises and farms that have various types of soils from light sandy to heavy loamy soils and from extensive lowlands to rugged foothill areas," Farmet says.

"These various soil and climatic conditions create a wide range of required technologies, which enable us to successfully develop machines for both European and Asian markets."

The Krtek can be used to help restore draining in waterlogged soils
The Krtek can be used to help restore draining in waterlogged soils

AUSSIE DIGGER

Farmet’s Digger range of deep cultivators, with 2,000L hoppers for fertiliser application, is among the most eagerly awaited of the product range, with Dunn saying Serafin has already been fielding inquiries about the products.

With a working depth of between 250–500mm and varying in working width from 2,900–3,900mm, the Farmet Digger can reach a top working speed of 12km/h, due in part to the low traction resistance provided by its unique tine design.

Two rows of tines help provide the machine with stability and precise depth guiding without the need to use training wheels – while the high frame clearance of 750mm makes it easier to control 

the Digger is also designed to allow one row of tines to be lifted when working in heavy soil conditions, such as on particularly marshy land or after harvest. 

Different models of the Digger can have between seven and nine ploughshares, spaced 425mm apart, and can weigh between 2,200kg–8,700kg, though each model has a maximum transport speed of 25km/h.

Also in Farmet’s deep cultivator range is the Krtek, weighing 880–1,750kg and with a working width of 2,200–4,400mm. 

Equipped with up to seven ploughshares, the cultivator can reach a working depth of between 500–600mm, with its one row of tines designed to cut through the soil without mixing topsoils with any inferior soils below them. 

The Krtek can be used to help restore draining in waterlogged soils, though Farmet says it does not need to be used every year when other anti-compaction methods are used.

SOFTLY, SOFTLY

Serafin is also introducing new disc cultivators from Farmet to Australia, with Dunn saying the models will help add new versatility to the company range. 

Farmet’s Softer high-speed compact disc cultivators can be used for everything from breaking up stubble to preparing the soil before breaking or ploughing takes place. 

Serafin says the Softer’s compact design and light construction makes it more skilful while working in the field, while avoiding the extra operating costs that weighing it down further would bring. 

Depending on the model, the Softer has between 10 and 25 discs on two rows, each measuring 510–560mm in diameter and protected by rubber mounting to prevent damage from coming into contact with an obstacle.

The discs keep their working angle even when partially worn and are placed in maintenance-free bearings with a good service life, Serafin says, adding that the number of adjustment and lubrication points have been kept to a minimum.

The cultivators have a working depth of 35–120mm and a working width of between 2,400–6,000mm, operating at a top working speed of 15km/h and requiring between 90–300hp (67–224kW) to operate, depending on the model. 

Farmet’s wider Diskomat plough harrow has a similar short compact design, despite being available in widths from 5,000–7,800mm and able to reach a working depth of 50–180mm – with this setting easily adjusted.

This model also sports between 20–30 front and rear row discs, each 620mm in diameter, and can reach a top working speed of 12km/h and a weight of its weight of 6,200–8,660kg.

The discs are each separately protected and placed in a way to ensure the machine continues to operate well, while behind each of the discs is a deflector striking down flying clods.

Like the Softer, the Diskomat also has low maintenance requirements, with easily accessible adjusting nodes and controlling elements able to be comfortably regulated from the operator’s position in the tractor during work. 

Both the Softer and the Diskomat have a range of rollers and hinges and a microdrill seeding attachment available as optional extras. 

The Digger range has a working depth of between 250–500mm
The Digger range has a working depth of between 250–500mm

JUST IN TIME

Dunn says Serafin’s first batch of Farmet equipment is set to arrive in Australia in late February, with more set to arrive in April 

"Basically we will be focusing this a lot on the Eastern Seaboard at the moment while we get the brand established," he says. 

"We will be running some local demonstrations and things like that once we get them here, so that will be done through that Riverina area… but they will be available for sale straight away through our dealers, or direct, depending on where they are."

Dunn says that when it arrives the equipment will be a major asset for the company. 

"There is a bit of a market for good quality high speed tillage machines here in Australia so it is definitely something we have had in mind for a fair while, we have just been waiting and looking for the right machine," he says.

"Farmet offers a very good range, a very good product and a very good price and it just means we are able to offer that to our dealers as well as our customers direct." 

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