Drill Manufacturers In Focus…

Triton seed drills are a British seed drill company that arrived on the market just 4 years ago and are now the fastest growing seed drill company in the UK with 120 seed drills now on the ground. Simon Chaplin who heads up Triton talks us through the background and development of the Triton Seed drill.

Farming in seven locations from Kelso to Cambridge over different soils in different climates gave us a broad idea of what most farmers in the UK require from a seed drill. To use a rugby analogy, i see the seed drill as the fly half of the farm yard..ie the make of harvester or sprayer that a farmer uses does not have much influence overall but a versatile seed drill dictates the game, ie the cropping options, the preparation and timing, and profitability of the business. Back in 2017 we were running several types of seed drills none of which were giving us satisfactory control of our farming system. We have an uncompromising cropping system based on highest potential profit with highest potential wildlife habitat.

These two goals are rarely seen to go hand in hand, but in my view they are natural partners. The highest quality habitats can run alongside a highly profitable crop, there is no need to turn a farm over to loss leading spring crops and scrappy expensive temporary cover crops to help nature, infact far from it. Temporary cover crops attract nature only to be destroyed. For example the roller crimper cover crop destruction technique does horrifying damage to nature.

Instead we have permanent cover strips round our fields made up of the Kings ‘Poacher Leave it’ perennial plants and the Bumble bee and bird mixes. These perennial plant wildlife strips are not cut back and they provide excellent dense nesting cover in the spring and winter cover for all types of nature. Our cropping is based on maximum financial output, minimum establishment costs, and minimal input costs and we don’t get taken-in by marketing.

For example if farmers used all yield the enhancement products advertised in a farming magazine then they would only need a few acres.. every seed treatment or fungicide or controlled release fertilizer will supposedly give a yield increase of 0.5t/ha, that could get up to 30t/ha if you used them all, so we don’t use any of them. We do use next generation biostimulants but only in recent years purely because our own weighbridge trials with AminoA flo gave good results.

We farm in a way which is kind to the soils and kind to nature, in a simple, straight forward fashion, the same could be said of our drills, designed to make crop establishment quick and easy, keeping cost of establishment low, the results speak for themselves, as does our customer feedback. Triton Drills have come a long way since 2017. We will shortly be delivering our 100th drill and we look forward to being part of the future of farming in an ever-changing landscape.

My grandfather first tried direct drilling with a disc drill in the 1970’s with varying success. My father then tried in the early 1990’s with another disc drill, again with mixed results. Over the last 15 years I have tried a more tine approach but again results have been inconsistent. Closing the slot with either a disc or a tine direct drill of any make is the issue on clay soils with high magnesium levels. Open slots either fill with water drowning the seed, or dry out depending on weather after drilling. They also exacerbate slug issues. The Triton direct drill is the only drill I have used that closes the seeding tine slot. For me the closing blade on the Triton is the best on the market and has now given us the option of direct drilling high magnesium clay soils, when appropriate. It’s a true all rounder direct drill on both cultivated and none cultivated soils.” M G Sutton