The banning of Diquat is behind a surge of interest in Scotts Precision Manufacturing’s haulm toppers, which the company is expecting to continue at LAMMA.
The Lincolnshire-based vegetable handling equipment manufacturer believes that mechanical haulm destruction will become a major draw in 2019 once Diquat is outlawed and is expecting a keen interest in its Three Bed Topper at LAMMA, which will be on Stand 8.940 in Hall 8, alongside Scotts latest Evolution Separator.
“Farmers are not going to have many options once Diquat is taken away from them,” says Derek Scott, managing director of Scotts Precision Manufacturing. “Growers are only going to have one viable option if they want to desiccate their crop before harvest effectively and that will be to use a topper. We’ve seen a massive increase in enquiries over the last month and expect this to continue well into the New Year as people consider their options.”
As well as having a Three Bed Topper at LAMMA, Scotts will also have details of its popular Trinity 22B Single Bed Haulm Topper available, which this year received a significant upgrade.
In response to the increasing power output of harvesting tractors, earlier this year Scotts boosted the Trinity’s horsepower capacity by 50%, taking its performance significantly beyond the competition.
“Where other manufacturers have struggled to radically improve their versions of the humble potato topper, we believe we have set a new standard in how good a haulm topper can be, ” continues Derek. “The current Trinity 22B usually removes the need for an expensive and high-maintenance cross conveyor by using shear plates to produce an effect similar to a straw chopper with cleverly designed deflectors guiding the vast majority of the “mulch” into the tractor wheelings. The haulm is so finely chopped that the potato harvester can sieve the debris without using haulm rollers. As the Trinity 22B also offers a 2.1 metre working width, tractors don’t trample the haulm either.
“With the power output of modern-day harvesting tractors increasing at pace, we’ve been working hard to ensure the Trinity 22B can keep ahead of them. The improvements made in the latest model will now mean we can stay ahead of the horsepower curve. Growers looking to operate at more moderate speeds will, of course, get the benefit of the improved reliability and performance. Maintenance free machinery is becoming more appealing as we see more reliance on fewer machines expected to do more in any one day.”
As well as being future proof, the new Trinity 22B features quick-change flails for reduced downtime, a broad range of cutting heights, a replaceable steel inner liner hood protector and the largest variation of flail lengths of any topper currently available. The flat and steeply curved flail design offer by far the best suction on the market.
Joining the Trinity 22B on Scott’s stand will be the company’s recently upgraded Evolution Separator.
The new, 2019 stone and clod remover, features programmable memory roller settings, self-cleaning and the option of having self-cleaning and gentle salad rollers instead of the machine’s normal rollers.
By having the ability to store and then remotely adjust the spacing of the spiral and clod rollers to saved positions will enable users to quickly and easily set up the Evolution Separator to suit either the conditions or the crop being handled.
Making changes to the Evolution’s configuration was possible before the upgrade but required manual adjustments. Now, modifications can be made via push buttons or an optional HMI system, which is simpler and quicker than before. The enhancements will also deskill the process and reduce the machine’s downtime.
A second improvement sees the introduction of self-cleaning. When activated, the Evolution’s spiral rollers spin at high speed to throw off any attached dirt.
Finally, Scotts has also developed rollers specifically for salad crops. The new salad rollers feature softer and wider spaced ribs which handle the produce in a more gentle manner.
“We have listened to our customers and introduced the features that have been most frequently requested,” says Derek Scott, managing director of Scotts Precision Manufacturing. “The Evolution Separator is designed to make the cleaning of a wide range of produce as easy and quick as possible. By introducing programmable settings for the rollers and self-cleaning we’ve made operating and looking after the Evolution even easier.
“We’ve also increased the Evolution’s versatility by developing new rollers which are incredibly gentle making them perfect for salad crops.”
Introduced by Scotts in 2005 the Evolution gently separates clod, stones, haulm and loose soil from a wide range of vegetables, fruit and alliums, including potatoes, gourmet potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions and bell peppers amongst others.
At the heart of the Evolution is the patented roller design. The two contract rotating rollers work together to move the produce across the table gently. The movement of the rollers loosens the dirt, which is worked into a valley, where, if soft enough, the debris is crushed and ejected down below the separator.
Over 500 Evolution Separators have been sold around the world. As well as featuring in the majority of grading lines offered by leading grading line manufacturers, the Evolution Table is also available directly from Scotts.
Established in 1994, Scotts Precision Manufacturing specialises in the design and manufacturing of highly efficient vegetable handling equipment. Its products, such as the Evolution Separator, often feature in full handling line solutions supplied by leading manufacturers but can also be retrofitted by farmers looking to upgrade.