Duncan Wilson took third place in the intermediate category of the 2022 Farmers Weekly Inventions Competition with his cover crop broadcaster
In search of a simple, low-cost method of establishing a cover crop pre-harvest, Mr Wilson saw potential in the farm’s 30m Berthoud trailed sprayer.
He and his team at Strathmore Farming Company, based in Forfar, Angus, reckoned they could retrofit the machine with a seeding system, avoiding the need to build something from scratch.
See also: Video: Grower builds cover crop broadcaster for £3,000
The modifications began by removing the front clean water tank – buying a new one to mount above the main tank – and building a seed hopper in its place.
This has a simple Accord metering system with a land wheel mounted off the chassis and a hydraulic fan than blows seed to a distribution head mounted above the boom. From here, it is sent along the boom using blue water pipe.
In total, the pipes have 15 outlets fitted with He-Va spreader plates that dribble the seed into the crop.
As the sprayer’s full range of functions is still in place, Mr Wilson doesn’t have to make any adjustments when switching between jobs. This means he could spray and seed at the same time, although he is yet to do so.
He has used it for two seasons and says it has worked well, with cover crops broadcast into the crop in July doing considerably better than those sown after harvest.
Most of the parts were taken from an Accord front hopper already on farm, so the parts bill only ran to about £300.