Led by Harper Adams University from one site at its campus in Newport and another site in the USA in conjunction with the University of Illinois, the aim of the investigation is to find ways to reduce compaction caused by heavy vehicles.
The three-year study in Illinois was with 290hp tractors with Michelin Ultraflex and standard pressure tyres running in two fields.
“The results we saw in Illinois showed quite clearly that Michelin Ultraflex tyres can help farmers to significantly reduce compaction and, in the process, boost their yields by 4.0% in comparison to standard tyres,” says Paula Misiewicz, senior Harper Adams lecturer in soil and water management.
The nine-year experiment at Harper Adams also compared the two Michelin standard and Ultraflex tyre set-ups combined with controlled traffic farming together with zero tillage, shallow and deep tillage techniques.
“While there were some benefits of using the low pressure tyres in all three systems over the nine years, it was with the deep tillage techniques where it really stood out,” adds Misiewicz. “Here again we recorded around a 4.0% yield improvement in comparison to conventional farm tyres.”
The study also found that any increase in the initial outlay for farmers purchasing the low pressure tyres over a standard tyre would be paid off within 12 months.
The full line-up of Ultraflex tyres available in the UK and Ireland includes AxioBib, AxioBib 2, EvoBib, XeoBib and YieldBib for tractors, CereXBib and CereXBib 2 for combines and forage harvesters, FloatXBib for self-propelled spreaders, SprayBib for high-clearance sprayers and TrailXBib and CargoXBib for trailers.