Made in Suffolk: Claydon Drills’ latest farm machine to be launched at Cereals 2014 at Duxford

Claydon Drills' Hybrid T drill

Claydon Drills' Hybrid T drill - Credit: Archant

A new version of a pioneering piece of agricultural technology designed and made in Suffolk by a farming family is set to be launched at a major farming event at Duxford next month.

Claydon Drills’ new Hybrid T trailed drill will be unveiled at Cereals 2014, a technical event for the arable industry, which takes place at Chryshall Grange on June 11 and 12.

The machine is the latest in a series of drills made by farmer, inventor and manufacturer Jeff Claydon and his team, who are based on the family farm at Wickhambrook, near Newmarket.

The patented drill, now being used on farms all over the world, allows farmers to drill seeds with minimal disturbance to the soil, which saves on cost and is considered better for the environment.

The new Hybrid T model is designed to meet the requirements of large 1000 hectare-plus farms in the UK and Europe.

It will be available initially in 6m form, with production limited to just 10 units in 2014 due to restrictions on manufacturing capacity at the company’s factory in Suffolk.

An 8m version will be introduced at a later date.

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The firm’s patented Claydon Strip Seeding System is now used in 26 countries, in different climatic conditions and soil types.

It enables growers to establish a wide range of crops directly into stubble, minimum-tilled or fully-cultivated soils, five times faster and at one-third the cost of a plough-based system, with significant yield and environmental benefits, the company claims.

The drill uses a system of two tines, or prongs, to make holes which are deep enough to allow complex rooting structures to develop quickly, which minimises soil erosion and ultimately leads to stronger, healthier crops with improved yield potential, it adds.

Jeff’s son, Spencer Claydon, who is the firm’s sales director, said: “During the last two years we have seen a big increase in interest in fertiliser placement while drilling, both from farmers in the UK and overseas.

“Increasingly, existing and potential customers have been asking us for a trailed version of our existing linkage-mounted Hybrid model, of which we have produced more than 400 units. The Hybrid T meets their requirements.”

The new model, which weighs weighs 6.75 tonnes, underwent 18 months of design, development and testing, including nearly 1000 acres of field trials across a wide range of soils and conditions.