In the past couple of years, farmers in some regions have found a need to address soil compaction in their fields. Some have now added a subsoiler to their equipment fleet to do that. Seeing an increased demand for subsoilers, Hepson Equipment of Brandon, Manitoba, now imports the Sumo brand, which originates in the U.K.
“The big advantage to the machine is that it will penetrate up to 22 inches, leaves no lumps behind it due to the roller, and also just makes the ground a lot looser,” says Sid Patterson, owner of Hepson Equipment. “We’ve sold quite a number of units, and as a result we’ve now decided to go with Dutch Industries, who’s going to manufacture it in Canada under licence to Sumo.”
Hepson Equipment will be the Canadian Sumo distributor, while Dutch Industries will distribute the brand in the U.S.
Hepson had a three-point hitch mounted, five-leg machine on display at Canada’s Farm Progress Show in Regina in June. Patterson says they planned to have a three, four, five and, hopefully, a seven-leg, three-point hitch implement available soon as well.
“A three-point hitch machine is a lot more cost-efficient than what the pull-type is, and does a very, very good job,” he says. “Probably the biggest problem we have in the western part of the country is the fact that we do not have a lot of tractors that have over 200 horsepower with a three-point hitch.
Patterson says the subsoilers require a tractor capable of supplying about 50 horsepower shank. “And then when we go to the full-cut machines, we have at present a nine-leg machine and a seven-leg machine. And in the future we will have an 11-leg machine.”
The Sumo brand doesn’t use shear pins. “They have nitrogen accumulators on all the legs. And that allows the leg to trip and reset,” says Patterson. Farmers can set the trip pressure according to land type. In heavy land, pressure might be set as high as 2,000 pounds, while in light land, that could drop to 800 pounds.
Patterson has had several phone calls from farmers who are happy with the Sumo. He says customers in all three Prairie provinces have used it for everything from eliminating wheel ruts to drying out wet fields to improving alkali patches.
“People are seeing improvements where they didn’t expect to see improvements.”
Lisa Guenther is field editor for Grainews. Contact her at [email protected].