Time on my hands over the Christmas break and chance to take a look at the cost implications between our old mi- till and this seasons direct drilling systems. Although saving money is not my primary motivation for the system change the lower power requirement and one pass nature of direct drilling will inevitably bring financial savings. The differences in fuel use are an obvious place to start.

Min-till system autumn 2011

6m Simba solo r plus 609hp challenger mt875c tractor – 80 l/hr covering ave 4ha per hr = 20 l/ ha

6m vaderstad rapid cultivator drill plus 330hp JD8530 tractor – 60 l/hr ave covering 4ha per hr = 15 l/ha

12m Simba Cambridge rolls plus 160hp tractor – 15 l/hr ave covering 10ha per hr = 1.5 l/ha

Total min-till system fuel use – 36.5 l/ha

Direct Drilling system autumn 2012

4m JD 750a drill plus 160hp JD6930 tractor – 14 l/hr covering 3ha/ hr = 4.6 l/ha

No need for a totalling up here as that’s it ! 4.6 l/ha total to direct drill

the saving between the 2 systems is some 32.5 l/ha of diesel – at 67ppl that a massive £21.78 saving in fuel use alone !  if those savings were applied over a 2000ac of farm that’s not far short of a £17,500 saving !  significant i’m sure you will agree and I don’t see the diesel price getting cheaper anytime soon either

Maybe someone brighter than me can calculate reduction in carbon footprint that has provided ? certainly step closer to a more sustainable future