A new machine, the Soil Master reciprocating harrow, is making a big impact in Ulster. This machine has recently been tested on a wide range of sward types by D and R McCready, Hillsborough, who are main agents for the Soil Master in Northern Ireland, in conjunction with Richardsons (Ulster) Limited.
Old grass was first sprayed off with Gramoxone at four pints per acre to ensure kill of all unproductive species and therefore reduce competition to seedling grasses in the new sward.
It was found that the harrow prepared a good seed bed in two runs from a one to two year Italian sward where there was not a dense mat of grass to start with.
Where there was a lot of grass, as with leys over three years of age or on very grassy stubble ground, it was considered that too much sod was produced to give a satisfactory seed bed.
The machine did an excellent job in breaking down ploughed ground or potato ground in one pass.
It is planned to see how the harrow performs next autumn on barley ground following the 1969 harvest.