Agrico High Speed ​​Disc: Now 8 metres wide!

— Bianca Henning, ProAgri

Farming is a complete joy when looking for a tool for a specific task, you find one that exceeds your expectations, supported by a manufacturer that understands Southern African farmers’ needs. Agrico has perfected this experience with their HSD630 (High Speed ​​Disc).

Agrico built their first HSD in 2017. The first models introduced to South African farmers, with widths of 2.5, 3.2 and 4 m, respectively, soon became big hits in the industry. Soon after, the 5 m followed, as well as a 6.3 m model. Now the Agrico team has moved to create the largest HSD yet, with a 8.0 m width.

How does the Agrico HS​​D compare to a traditional disc harrow?

A farmer’s greatest need is to work as efficiently as possible. With labour and fuel costs prohibitively high, it is important get the most from every cent.

The HSD operates at up to 16 km per hour — almost twice the speed of a traditional disc harrow. This means that with almost the same kilowatts, same diesel consumption, and in the same time, you can cultivate twice as many hectares.

“Farmers in southern Africa are some of the most innovative in the world. They are completely reliant on themselves to achieve success,” says Johan Myburgh, Head Mechanical Engineer of Agrico. “It is essential that farmers work as efficiently as they can and plant as close as possible to the ideal time. At times, preparation must be done within a short window of time,” he adds.

“With rising costs, farmers tend to switch to bigger tractors and bigger implements. Big machinery requires less labour, less maintenance, and gives the farmer better control. Farmers want to get through their hectares as fast as possible, and cultivate more hectares with less equipment,” says Johan. “This is precisely where the need for the 8.0 m HSD arose. We have had great success with the 2.5  to 4.0 m discs that are already on the market.”

The design process of the 8.0 m HSD

Cornel Fourie, Mechanical Design Engineer at Agrico and chief designer of the 8-metre HSD, says that the design of the new tool is based on that of its successful predecessors.

“The concept for the first HSD with a folding frame (the 6.3 m model) was finalised in 2020. The 8.0 m model is just an extension of the 6.3 m, so the design took less time as much of it was already in place. The two larger models go hand in hand with each other,” says Cornel.

The Agrico team completed the design in an impressive nine months. The development was lead by Cornel, with assistance from Johan’s side together with the production team, under the direction of Johan Kershoff.

Key features of the Agrico HSD

  • The frame is foldable with hydraulic control for easy transport.
  • The disc is trailed, and not mounted on the tractor’s three-point like the smaller models.
  • The unique design of the larger discs and spacing of 315 mm between them provides cost-effective operation with very good material flow.
  • Fifty-four 630 mm diameter chopped discs reduce wear.
  • Improved material flow is achieved with the help of the smart design and optimal spacing of the chopped discs.
  • A robust frame ensures a durable tool with an extended life.

A tractor of 200 to 280 kW (depending on the ground conditions) must be used in front of the 8.0 m HSD. The implement works between 14 and 16 km per hour, and up to 160 mm deep.

Discs that make a difference

“I think the big secret of the HSD’s success is the aggressive angle at which the discs operate and the rubber springs to which they are attached,” says Cornel.

“The springs protect the discs, frame, and bearings. If a disc hits a stone, it breaks away and resets itself immediately. The work can continue uninterrupted and without damage.”

In addition to the smart discs and robust structure, the rear roller with which the working depth is set, helps to round off the seed bed and mix the topsoil perfectly.

The new HSD is currently being tested in the Free State and will be introduced to farmers for the first time at this year’s NAMPO.

Agrico focuses on moving forward with their customers. They understand the needs of Southern African farmers and their implements are manufactured locally to fit farmers’ needs exactly.

“The requirements of tools in Africa are different to those of Europe. We know African conditions and know the challenges of the farmer. Cornel and I both drove a tractor even before we could walk properly,” concludes Johan with a laugh.

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