The organic 5,000-acre farm located in the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, turns over almost 3,000 acres/year using a pair of six-furrow Kverneland semi-mounted ploughs, as it makes the most of clean and level seedbeds, to gives its cereals the best possible start.
“As an organic farm, the plough will always be an integral part of our cultivations strategy,” explains foreman James Francis. “We have recently extended our rotation to seven years by including peas and beans, and with two-year red and white clover leys, our preference is to plough the grass in preparation for a first cereal.”
Barrington Park Estates has recently upgraded to a Kverneland 6300 S, replacing one of its two PB100 models through Chandlers Farm Equipment. Specification includes hydraulic front furrow, and press arm, with bolt-on reversible points favoured over knock-on points.
Operators favour the single, central skimmer adjustment and the revised headstock design that enables tighter headland turns to be made.
“We’ve had Kverneland ploughs for over 20 years, and it’s well-built kit that does a great job,” he says. “Though it helps when you have two very good ploughmen who also compete in matches. The finish they achieve is superb and when they follow each other in the same field, you can’t differentiate the finish from either plough.”
James adds that on the thinly soiled Cotswold brash, the farm ploughs at 5-6in deep pulling furrow widths of 14 or 16in, depending on surface conditions and field location. Auto-reset is essential given the stony brash, and the switch to number 28 bodies suits 650 tyres in-furrow. Both ploughs are used with furrow presses during summer, but any winter ploughing is left open rather than pressed, which does provide a little extra output.
Despite field sizes ranging from 8 to 120 acres, the semi-mounted ploughs are considered agile and manoeuvrable.
“We can turn over around 30-40 acres/day per plough when pressing, helped with 1800kg on the front linkage and up to 600kg in each rear wheel, so we have a very flexible solution for field work,” he says. “And the soft Cotswold stone isn’t abrasive, so a set of points will last a season.”