Philip Watkins Tri-Till

There are so many ways to establish oilseed rape and broadcasting off the back of a subsoiler or tine and disc machine has grown in popularity. But Philip Watkins has taken this one stage further and swapped out the two gangs of discs for some coulters add a little more precision to the establishment job. Nick Fone finds out more.

by Nick Fone

23 Sep 2020

When it was first conceived in late 2005, Philip Watkins’ Tri-Till did exactly as its name suggests – it was a one-pass machine capable of doing three jobs. Subsoiler tines to loosen down to 380mm, two rows of scalloped discs to chop clods and mix trash and a press at the rear to firm things up.

But eight years on things have moved on. Establishing rape off the back of machines such as the Tri-Till is now common practice and it’s an approach that’s being refined every season as lessons are learnt from weather, soil condition and plant agronomy. Following successive years of extreme wet and dry weather patterns and inconsistent establishment behind subsoiler seeders, two particular themes continually raise their head.