Joskin has drawn on its 40 years of experience making grassland harrows and developed its first version for arable crops.
Called the Bioflex, and previewed at Agritechnica, export manager Jean-Marc Vanempten explains that the development was driven by customers. “Our grass harrow users have seen the benefits and many of them asked us if they could fit other tines and use the frame for arable crops,” he comments.
The firm’s first tined arable harrow is not a case of simply swapping the tines on one of the Belgian company’s grassland harrows. The complete frame has been re-designed. The result is a hot-dip galvanized structure and a mounted range comprising seven models from 4.8m to 12m.
A version is in development that will work in ridged crops, such as potatoes, but for now, the wide range of crops the current machine is designed for includes cereals and maize.
In addition to breaking up capped land, the flexible 7.0mm diameter tines aerates the soil, and in optimal weather conditions is said to tug out young weed roots. Tine aggressiveness is adjusted via the top link and position of the depth wheels. The 4.8m, 6.0m and 7.2m models are all equipped with three front and four rear depth wheels. The 8.4m, 9.6m, 10.8m and 12m variants have five front and six rear depth wheels.
Something that comes from the Belgian firm’s grassland harrows is Variflex. Standard on the Bioflex, the hydraulic system ensures a constant and equal pressure on all tines, regardless of their angle with the surface.
With three sections for models up to a working 7.2m and five for the three wider models, each one contains six rows of tines. All models fold hydraulically to a transport width of just 2.5m.
So, when can we expect to see the first Bioflex in the UK and Ireland? “We have received many requests, and I am sure the first ones will be sold in the next couple of months for delivery in time for next season,” says Mr Vanempten.