Sponsored by: ArmaTrac

Charles Creyke

Aquagronomy, Wheel Track Roller Combi, Yorkshire

Having previously invented the Aqueel, a roller system to create indentations in the soil surface, thus increasing surface area, Charles Creyke looked to develop a solution for soil water retention in compacted tramlines.

With surface run off in all crops, but particularly heavily trafficked crops such as root crop production, an increasingly scrutinised area, lifting compacted soils helps with water infiltration.

However, increasing the area available for water infiltration, and slowing its progress down the field is also an important consideration says Charles. With this in mid, a new design has been thought up, the Wheel Track Roller Combi.

A subsoiler with legs angled out wards, towards the rooting zone of the growing crop, creates channels for water to seep through. Behind a plastic wheel, designed for self-cleaning, high-slip, low soil adherence plastic Roller forms angled elongated reservoirs to hold the surface water and at the same time creates perforations which facilitate the ingress of the water into the soil which remains soft around the channels generated by the tines.

Unlike using a straight tine to loosen the soil, which can lead to trafficability issues, this system does not, while also decreasing runoff.

Initial tests show that untouched tramlines saw a runoff of 23.9 per cent whereas Wheel Track Roller Combi tramlines resulted in just 1.9 per cent in combinable crop.

Already the first was sold to the Broads Authority last summer following our prototype machine being made available to Catchment Officers.