A I Walgate & Son, which farms around 700 hectares in the Lincolnshire Wolds, is reporting significant improvements in soil health since equipping a Fendt 724 and two frontline implements with PTG central tyre inflation and Michelin Ultraflex Technology tyres.
The company runs Michelin across the fleet and specified PTG technology on the latest tractor, Fliegl trailer and Horizon DSX drill.
James Walgate, director, said: “We’ve been very impressed with the impact of the PTG system. Because we don’t plough anything now, everything is direct drilled, we’re very conscious of wheelings and compaction. This set-up really helps in terms of mitigating compaction, which dries the air out of the soil so when it gets waterlogged it more easily becomes anaerobic, which is the last thing you want for your soil health.
“We did some work where we went up the field with the tyres set at road pressures and had half an inch of rain the next night, and you could see the water stood in the wheelings. But when we did the same work with the optimal field pressures there was nothing. The water infiltration rate with the road pressures was calculated to be 8mm an hour compared with 18mm per hour where it had been run with the field pressures.”
The PTG systems were supplied and fitted by TractAir – Michelin’s approved UK partner for central tyre inflation systems. The farm also utilises the Fendt VarioGrip system on its other tractors.
“Crucially, TractAir also supplied us with a compressor which we can put on the front of the tractor with VarioGrip to ensure we have the volume of air required for the four tyres on the trailer – because that is constantly going between the road and the field,” added Mr Walgate.
“We don’t need that capacity on the drill because once we get to the field, we let the tyres down and drill all day. When we want to come home we can blow them up and the VarioGrip on the 828 is good enough for that. But it takes ten minutes to inflate the tyres from field to road pressure without the Compressor, and obviously, that’s too long if you’re constantly switching between field and road work.”
The 724 is shod with Michelin XeoBib VF 600/60 R30 front tyres and VF 710/60 R42 rears, while the 828 is equipped with EvoBib VF 600/70 R30 fronts and VF 710/70 R42 on the rear. The Horizon DSX drill is sat on CargoXBib High Flotation VF 750/60 R30.5 fitments and the trailer is equipped with CargoXBib High Flotation 600/55 R26.5 tyres.
Each set of tyres is developed with Ultraflex technology, enabling them to carry more weight and operate at low pressures. According to Michelin, these are proven to boost yields by up to 4% by minimising soil compaction and crop damage.
“We have always run with Michelins,” concluded Mr Walgate. “In our book, nothing can compare in terms of value for money. You get what you pay for.”