At the Livestock Show 2012, OPICO is launching a new grassland management tool which will allow the sward in grazed fields to re-generate faster, and more completely.
The Pasture Harrow is the latest innovation to join
OPICO’s range of grassland machinery
Called the Pasture Harrow, this multi-tasking tool levels out molehills, disperses muck heaps and cow pats, and aerates the sward. The results: lost ground is re-gained, ‘free’ nutrients are better distributed, and re-growth can occur throughout the whole sward, boosted by improved aeration.
Designed by OPICO, the Pasture Harrow has two rows of spreading plates at the front: the plates in the first row are 95mm wide and drag along the ground – dispersing molehills and knocking off the top crust of cow pats. The second row’s plates are offset: these break up the rest of the cow pat and spread the muck and soil. At the rear, two rows of spring tines further distribute the loosened materials, and also aerate the sward. The Pasture Harrow has a galvanised finish to protect it from the vigorous corrosion effects of muck and slurry.
OPICO’s grassland specialist Neil Robinson explains: “By the time cattle have grazed a field down and are moved out, up to 15% of the sward can be covered by cow pats. The grass underneath these can’t grow and, especially in dry weathers, these take a long time to break down. So when cattle return to the field, there’s always a percentage of the ground with no grass re-growth but plenty of fertiliser!
“Using the Pasture Harrow, the cow pats are dispersed allowing the grass underneath to grow and the nutrients from the manure to be used more efficiently. The harrowing tines remove the immediate trash at the bottom of the sward and aerate it, thus encouraging better root growth and faster plant recovery.
The Pasture Harrow is the latest innovation to join OPICO’s range of grassland machinery. Already on the market are the Sward-Lifter for subsoiling, Sward-Slitter for aerating the soil and the Grass Harrow and Air Seeders for reseeding and overseeding. Together with OPICO’s Grass Rolls, these make up a comprehensive range of grassland management equipment for livestock farmers.
Pasture Harrows in 5m and 6m widths will be available from September. Prices will be announced at the Livestock Show.
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