News del 23/02/2014

Gaspardo DP PRONTA tough enough for all conditions

Wanganui farmer-contractor Andrew Horrocks says his customers are delighted with the germination results he provides with his Gaspardo direct drill. Andrew's business, Penwortham Contracting, is a full service cultivation and seeding operation though these days a big proportion of his work direct drilling thanks to his Gaspardo E-Drive DP Pronta. He bought the Gaspardo Pronta four years ago and drills about 400ha a year with it, evenly spread over spring and autumn.

Before he got the direct drill he cultivated all the ground he seeded. Now demand for direct drilling is way up, thanks to the outstanding results of the Gaspardo Pronta. “I use it for its efficiency covering the ground. I used to plough and power-harrow all of it but I'd only cultivate about 80ha now. “Direct drilling is cheaper for the clients, so they tend to do more acreage and we are getting very good strike rates.”

Andrew says with the Gaspardo Pronta he covers twice the acreage for a quarter of the diesel compared to conventional tillage. He gives the example of a job 60km away. The drill stays there until the job is finished. Previously we would have made three or four trips to swap implements.

The Gaspardo Pronta has seed and fertiliser hoppers and that was one of the reasons Andrew bought it.

“Most clients want both and I have added another hopper for slug bait,” he says. He finds the E-drive electronic calibration brilliant. “In the old days a wheel drove the seeding unit and calibration was a long drawn out process. Now calibration takes four to five minutes and is incredibly accurate. ”The Gaspardo Genius operating system allows you to change the seeding rate on the move. It records job statistics individually giving the operator a range of information including kilograms of seed and fertiliser applied to each job, and total hectares covered.

Andrew says the Gaspardo Pronta does minimal damage to the soil structure and does not expose the ground, so there are few issues with weeds germinating and competing with the crops.

The Gaspardo seeding system uses a single disc and seeding shoe. This disc has a 12 degree offset, which provides a slot for the seeding shoe to accurately drop seed into the soil. A press wheel follows to crush the furrow wall and provide good soil to seed contact. “Penetration is excellent, even in last year's  drought. Wet isn't a problem either. The Gaspardo Pronta can work in wet or damp ground and doesn't clog up.”

Most of the seeds Andrew drills are for lamb fattening: turnips, plantain, chicory and pasture. It copes well with all seed types and all types of soil. “It's beautiful going into cereal stubble and even copes

with maize stubble,” he says. Andrew works in some tough country where the ground can be marginal at best.

“We are on the second set of discs and third set of shoes but the drill has been trouble-free, and we've been in some pretty nasty country.” A new Deutz Fahr X720 tractor pulls the Gaspardo. Andrew says he doesn't need that much power but it's great on the hills. “A 100hp tractor will pull it on the flat.”Dealer support was another reason he opted for the Gaspardo Pronta. “I bought the drill through Stephen Alford at Power Farming Manawatu. They give very good service. If I ring up with a problem, they fix it straight away. If one of their products ever gives trouble there's a unit on a truck to let me carry on working and that means a lot.”