An impressive array of Lemken kit recently congregated in a field near the Hungarian border with Austria. Most of the machines had been previewed at last year’s Agritechnica, so this event represented their working debuts. Here’s a text and picture round-up of the tackle on display. Ploughs:  The Juwel 8 M and MV mounted reversible ploughs (three to seven furrows) are more basic versions of the existing Juwel 8. That means all M adjustments are mechanical — there are no electrohydraulics — although there’s still a decent line-up of features, including a damped depth wheel, increased clearance on turnover and, on the vari-width versions, a system that only narrows the plough as much as it needs to, rather than all the way in, during turnover.  For technophiles the ISObus control of Juwel mounted ploughs is now available to UK buyers. Labelled as TurnControl Pro, the system allows all plough adjustments — working depth, angle, width, front furrow etc — to be made from the tractor cab, and settings for up to four different condition scenarios can be stored. Only TurnControl Pro requirement is that the ploughing tractor’s hydraulics must be load-sensing. Switching to semi-mounted plough format, the Diamant II (five to nine furrows) line incorporates two new features: OptiLine and hydraulic traction increase. The former is claimed to be a world first for a semi-mounted plough, allowing the operator to adjust the Diamant’s line of draft; while hydraulic traction increase is a ram that transfers some of the plough’s weight through the top link and on to the tractor’s rear axle. Less wheelslip and greater efficiency are the results. Cultivators:

The Heliodor 9 disc harrow gains a 45mm disc diameter increase to 510mm, permitting it to work deeper down to 140mm, and is sold in mounted and semi-mounted formats with working widths from 2m all the way up to 16m. At the top end of the line-up, the 8m, 10m, 12m and 16m Heliodors are mounted onto Lemken’s trailed Gigant system carrier, which cleverly is able to shift some of its weight onto the Heliodor units to increase disc penetration when cultivating tougher soils. For those wanting to set their discs deeper, down to 20-22cm, Lemken offers the Rubin 12. There’s not much change to this range of compact discs, other than the firm will be marketing a new 7m wide model in the UK in 2017. Turning attention to Lemken’s tined machines, the 4-7m Karat 12 is due to replace the Karat 9 in 2017. Key difference here is that Karat 12 gains an extra row of tines — four rows rather than three — thus reducing tine spacing from 27-28cm down to 23cm; working depth range is 5cm to 30cm. The closer tine spacing gives a more intensive mixing effect which, according to Lemken, should allow the all-disc Karat 12 to compete with disc/tine one-pass outfits, such as the Väderstad TopDown and Grégoire Besson Discordon, on certain soils.   Seeders: Big news on the drill front is that the trailed Solitair 25 should arrive in the UK in 2017. From the outside the most obvious difference between the ‘25’ and existing ‘9’ is that there’s a new plastic 3,000-litre seed hopper, complete with a full width lid for easier filling with big bags. In addition, there is a new vertical seed dosing system and, unlike the Solitair 9, the Solitair 25 can be specced with Lemken’s OptiDisc and OptiDisc M double-disc coulters.  The first Solitair 25s to arrive will be 4-6m folding units, while 3m, 3.5m and 4m rigid models will follow. Like the ‘9’, the 25 can be paired with Lemken’s full range of power harrows and cultivators. A further option for the rear of the Solitair 25 will be to hitch on to the new Azurit 9 precision seeder, the latter being manufactured in limited numbers for the 2017 season before going on full sale in 2018 in four- or eight-row formats. Distinguishing feature on Azurit is its so-called DeltaRow seeding system that places two staggered rows of seeds spaced 12.5cm apart. Though maize is the main crop likely to be established with the Azurit, the seeder is also capable of handling soya beans, sunflowers and rapeseed. Power requirement for the eight-row Azurit (solo) is 160-180hp, and typical working speed is said to be 12-15km/hr. Sprayers:

Completing this run-through of the Lemken kit at work in Hungary, the Vega trailed sprayer will be offered with wider, rear-folding aluminium booms from November — 27m, 28m and 30m. Currently the 3,000-, 4,000- and 5,000-litre capacity sprayers are only listed with booms up to 24m.