Amazone is currently trialling a new implement for effective ultra-shallow stubble management. We tucked the TopCut into rapeseed stubble in an exclusive first look.

Breaking up stubble, encouraging as many volunteer seeds to germinate as possible, redistributing straw and being capable of high-output seedbed preparation: these are all things Amazone is looking to achieve with the TopCut 12000, a concept tool carrier that can be tooled up in many different configurations depending on the end goal.

We tucked the first functional example of the TopCut into rape stubble last summer to get an idea of what the 12m wide bit of kit brings to the ultra-shallow tillage party. Don’t all go rushing off to your local Amazone dealer at once, though, as it’s not going to be available any time soon. Instead Amazone is gathering feedback in order to determine the specific requirements for such a machine before the final concept is nailed down, which is part of the reason that it showed a mock-up of some of the configurations to British farmers at Cereals last year.

First impressions

The tool carrier frame can be kitted out with a selection of tools in different configurations. These can be split into three sections: primary, mid and finishing.

There are currently three types of leading tools that take care of shredding and chopping up crop residue. For this part of the operation, Amazone provides either a row of wavy discs that cut in the direction of travel or knife rollers that work across. Alternatively, you can opt to go for a clod board for secondary seedbed preparation. The featured concept machine had the knife roller on one side and no lead tool whatsoever on the other side. The TopCut operator adjusts the penetration pressure/depth of the front tools hydraulically by refitting shim clips. If a knife roller isn’t needed — for instance, in cereal stubble — it can be simply raised out of work.

The front tools are already used on several other Amazone machines: the knife roller, for example, is also used on the Catros compact discs and the Cobra cultivator.

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