Massive 10m and 12m Bednar Swifterdisc disc cultivators from 4AG have helped improve cultivation efficiency in large contracting and farming operations in the South Island in the past season.
4AG marketing manager Hamish Raikes says large scale arable farmers and contractors around New Zealand are reaping the benefits of the experience Bednar has gained building machines for the massive acreages of Eastern European agriculture. “The sheer scale of some farming operations in that part of the world require the preparation of hundreds of thousands of hectares for cereal crops. To work such a large amount of ground in a relatively short window of opportunity is a round-the-clock task that requires machines with wide working widths and a design to handle high working speeds,” Hamish says. Despite the impressive 10m and 12m working widths of the units sold in New Zealand, Bednar’s clever design means these machines fold to 3.0m for legal transportation on our roads. The operators who are running the first big Bednars here are finding that the design of the Swifterdisc XE allows the disc sections to lift clear at headlands, giving fast turnaround and excellent manoeuvrability.
“With the 10m and 12m units 100 hectares a day is possible while running the tractor and machine at a realistic forward speed of 10-12 kph. This gives a huge daily throughput compared with 6.0m gear. It allows large areas to be worked in a timely fashion and eases pressure on farmer and contractor alike.” Hamish says the 10m unit is being pulled with a 330hp John Deere 8335R, and the 12m unit is hitched to a 530hp John Deere 9530 pivot. The 12m machine tips the scales at a hefty 11.5 tonne. The heavy construction of these machines is evident in the sheer size of framework, pivots and hydraulic cylinders.
Running 520mm blades mounted with Bednar’s unique ‘twin disc’ system, these Swifterdisc cultivators are designed to incorporate large amounts of crop stubble, and top-working after the plough or primary tool. The sheer weight gives excellent penetration in heavy trash where lighter machines struggle. “The twin disc system gives excellent clearance and flow of crop residue. The superior performance of the disc cultivator over a tined machine is most evident when working in stubble that has to be incorporated and mixed, or in heavier hard ground where tine machines struggle for penetration.
“Both Swifterdiscs are operating in regions that contain some very stony areas, so the heavy duty 600mm rubber roadpacker roller was a logical choice. The V-profile roller is constructed with an extremely durable rubber compound. After 2500ha of use, the rubber roller is showing little sign of wear.” With more of these monster units already sold and arriving for the coming spring, 4AG believe this is the start of a trend with larger scale operators looking to increase their capacity at the height of the season. There are a good number of high horsepower fixed frame and articulated tractors in the South Island in the 300hp-600hp bracket now, and these wider implements will really start to utilize the horsepower of these big rigs.