Designed to control weeds in all types of 30cm strip-seeded combinable crops, where the undrilled 14-15cm band between the rows can be mechanically hoed, Claydon’s TerraBlade inter-row hoe will be launched and on sale from LAMMA 2018.

Shown in pre-production form at Cereals, and developed and made in-house, a complete range of models are planned to match the working width of the firm’s Hybrid Opti-Till drills, but the 550kg-heavy TerraBlade M6 is the first model included in the price list. With a working width of 6m, the 20 blades slice through weed roots at depths of up to 3cm. Suitable for use on any tractor with a Cat II front linkage, and with a power requirement of just 10-12hp/m (60hp minimum tractor power), typical forward speeds are around 6km/hr and outputs of up to 3ha/hr are possible. On the road, the M6 folds to a width of 2.71m and a height of 3.15m.

Claydon reckons the manually steered implement can be used whenever soil conditions allow. On farms that drill early, for example, crops may be sufficiently well developed in the autumn to start using the technique. The implement can then continue in the spring, up to the stage where further passes might compromise the crop. Described as a valuable addition to the weed control armoury, the company says keeping unseeded bands clear of weeds during the early stages of growth reduces young crop plant competition for nutrients, light, air and water.

“We developed the TerraBlade on our own farm over two years and found that, in conjunction with the use of herbicides, the unit will pay for itself quickly through reductions in grass weeds and improved crop yields,” said Jeff Claydon, the company’s CEO.