A Family business run by Christo, Abrie and nephew Jaco. The farm management is divided between crop production lead by Christo, Abrie does the cows and sheep and Jaco the chicken production. Emmerentia was established in 1952 by their grandfather. Current structure has been successfully running for 15 years.

Farmer Paul Leto, situated in Western Australia in a wheat belt area, is farming on 6000 ha altogether with his sheep and cattle approximately 5000 pcs. The main crops are wheat, barley and pastures (pastures 3000 ha). Paul belongs to innovative farmers always seeking for new technology that will increase his income, while also reducing input costs.

The beginning of harvest is also the time of stubble cultivation and thus of SWIFTERDISC. Stubble cultivation is an essential operation in successful agro-technology of soil before establishing a new crop.

BEDNAR importer 4AG in New Zealand gets ready for all conditions: Part 2.

After the successful outdoor show in Gore, 4AG starts its first demonstrations of the new model of ATLAS HO 6000 around the Christchurch area. This area is well known as good farming land with high demand, customers located here have a variety of soil types as the area spans from mountain to ocean level, with various plant and animal production.

The machine itself with a robust body frame is predicted to operate in hard soils with lots of plant residues. This was the case in demonstrating on the Stratford Farm. The farmers are also animal producers as nearly the whole of New Zealand traditionally is. For this reason, it is necessary for high quality milk products to have high quality food for animals. The process of grass land maintenance is the topping, which is provided by mulchers and then a disking process. Which can be a problem in some cases for disc harrows, although it was not for the ATLS HO even though the grass has a strong root connection system and the land is compacted after the cattle’s pasture.

Darren & Hamish Raikes, with Clint Jordan (machinery & cropping operations manager for Canterbury Contracting) inspecting the company’s Swifterdisc XE 10000. Canterbury Contracting is the equipment division of one of New Zealand’s largest corporate dairy farming business, Dairy Holdings Ltd, this business operates 58 seperate dairy farms across 14,000 hectares spread throughout the South Island of New Zealand, milking 46,000 cows! The total business produces 16.2 million kg of milksolids each season! The 10mtr machine has worked 2800ha in 18 months (location, Rakaia, South Island)

Kevin Hermansen (owner) and Paul Glover (operations manager) of Hermansen Contracting Ltd, Norsewood with Hamish Raikes (MD of 4AG Ltd) standing by their Bednar Terraland TN3000D7R chisel plough.  Hermansen also operates a Swifterdisc XO5000F short disc harrow (location, Norsewood, New Zealand)

Mark McCully commenting on the first passes with the ATLAS: „Very nice job even after the first pass, we usually make two passes as we really need to decompact the soil and the root systems, sometimes we make a third pass when the grass seeds are re-grown. With the atlas these operations take much less time because and I can easily reach 15 km/h, for the test purposes I went round at 10cm depth with the disc and tried to go faster than that. My tractor reached 19 km/h and the atlas stayed stuck to the ground and the job done was great too, this machine has big potential on the grass land here in New Zealand.“

Graeme Anderson from the contracting company: „Our company owns land with cereals and we are providing lots of contracting jobs, for us the machine has to be somehow universal and most important is the easy set up to change the depth quickly and quickly transport, as our customers are situated in different places.“

Darren Raikes with Simon Broom of S.W Broom Contracting, with his Swifterdisc XE 10000. Based in Culverden, North Canterbury, Brooms‘ business has grown with the massive dairy farming and irrigation growth in this district.

Hamish & Darren Raikes, with Mark McCully of Stratford Farming, Ashburton, demonstration of Atlas HO 6000 into grass seed sward, machine performed well at working speeds of 16-20km/h!! Stratfords is a large farming operation, cropping, livestock, potatoes, dairy.  In the back ground is the Southern Alps,  the main mountain range of the South Island

Rod Gimblett: “We are already using a Bednar MULCHER MM 7000 for grass-topping and we really would like to see the ATlAS HO working on our lands. This is the machine which we are missing, if the job done is like it is here I will definitely be satisfied”.

Goff achieves control

Many claims have been made for the benefits of controlled traffic systems. For William Goff, who is currently introducing the system across three farms totalling 6,000 acres in Norfolk, some benefits are apparent quickly, but others may take longer to accrue. Having converted the home farm last year, he can already see huge improvements in the pace and cost of cultivations. And while the expected yield rises have yet to accrue, he is confident they will in time. He is using a 10m system because he feels it is best suited to the area of Norfolk, and because it is costing much less than moving to the other option – a 12m system.

They have already used a 10m combine for several years, and have added a 10m Bednar Swifterdisc cultivator to their armoury to prepare seedbeds for their 10m tined drill.

The home-farm of 3,000 acres at North Elmham is already converted to the system, and a second unit of 1,800 acres some 20 miles away at Massingham is in 03transition.

The 1,200 acres they farm 15 miles away at Marham supports more varied cropping including potatoes, onions and leeks, and isn’t being converted yet as much of the land is ploughed.

William in the emerging crop of oilseeds; this picture does deliberately show the thinner crop on the tramline behind, because William admits that they’re still discovering things they need to do – such as more work restoring headlands and tramlines when they convert!

Introducing the system is a logical ‘next step’, he says: “When we came to North Elmham the cropping included free range pigs and potatoes. The soil was in dire condition, with little life and few earthworms”.

“Our first decision was to move away from ploughing and use non-inversion tillage to work crop residues into the soil and start building up some organic matter”.

“Ploughing is very efficient at burying the stubble, but the trash tended to form an anaerobic layer below the seedbed. The fields would look beautiful and everything looked right for sowing. But when plant roots got eight inches down they ran into this sour layer and stopped”.

They did a remedial restructuring pass across the whole acreage before introducing non-inversion tillage: “It worked really well for us and began to bring the soils back to better health and yields began to rise”.

“We may switch to no-till systems in the future but we don’t want to run before we can walk. After a decade of non-inversion tillage we decided that controlled traffic was a more logical step”.

“Having got the soils back to better health, we feel we can improve them by ensuring they don’t receive any wheelings at all”.

Any land going into the controlled traffic system receives a remedial sub-soiling pass to open it up and enable it to restructure.

Their new cultivation system starts with either one or two passes with the 10m Bednar Swifterdisc, which they aim to complete as soon after harvest as possible.

“We only work the top few inches because we do not want to go too deep and bury the weed and volunteer seeds”.

“Our old 6m cultivator did 100 acres in 10 hours and used six or seven litres of diesel an acre. The Swifterdisc can cover 250 to 300 acres in the same time behind the same tractor and uses less than three litres of diesel an acre – double the output from man and machine for under half the fuel”.

“I don’t think I could use any more cost effective cultivator than the Swifterdisc”.

SwifterDisc XE 10000 at work.

If they are doing one pass the machine will typically work around three inches deep to achieve a good mix of weed and volunteer seeds. Where they use two passes, the first will just tickle the surface to encourage the chit, with a second, deeper pass making the seedbed.

They first saw it working at a Tillage event and were impressed by its simplicity and the effectiveness of the job it did – a first impression that was confirmed when the machine spent some time on demonstration on their farm last autumn:

“It did a cracking job in the field, working the weed and volunteer seeds into the tilth and getting a really effective chit. It left an excellent seedbed”.

“It is also well designed and built. The folding mechanism is simple and effective; there are very few wearing parts and it travels very well on the road, all of which are really important for us. In addition, it is very competitively prices against the other machines we considered”.

“This autumn it has done an excellent job. We have just drilled wheat into cultivated oilseed rape stubbles and it went very well; the fields look excellent”.

“It also has a genuine 10m working width. Some manufacturers don’t offer a machine of that width – and some machines that claim to be 10m have only got a 9.50m working width in reality!”

This crop is oilseeds sown on August 1st through a seedbed which had one Swifterdisc pass; the plants look very healthy and well-rooted.

They already move harvested grain with chaser bins: “I know they are a bit of a ‘marmite’ issue. Some people can’t see the point of them and think they are ‘white elephants’, and other people would not be without them”.

They plan to streamline the system further in future by switching from tractors and trailers to transport crops to the stores to lorries:

“Lorries can take 30 tonnes each, whereas we are limited to 15 tonnes a load with tractors and trailers, so the system will halve the number of vehicle movements and ensure we are completely road legal”.

Good close up showing soil throw.



David Main
07702 638264
Jonathan Wheeler
07879 428540
14th October 2015

As a result of requirements from the European Union there are now increased demands for more frequent usage of cover crops in a crop rotation system. This requirement is very problematic especially for farmers who have a larger acreage and are fighting against time. One ofthe options on how to establish a vegetation of cover crops on large farms is using a combination of a Ferti-Box and a wide disc cultivator, the SwifterDisc XE 10000.

12 meters disc cultivator – largest in New Zealand

A monster 12mtr disc cultivator Bednar SwifterDisc XE 12000 set to work in Central Otago autumn 2015. The largest of its type in NZ, this machine is busy top working on a massive dairy operation near Twizel. Massive 10m and 12m Bednar Swifterdisc disc cultivators from 4AG (distributor of Bednar) have helped improve cultivation efficiency in large contracting and farming operations in the South Island in the past season.

Large farms and contractors request large equipment

4AG marketing manager Hamish Raikes says large scale arable farmers and contractors around New Zealand are reaping the benefits of the experience Bednar has gained building machines for the massive acreages of Eastern European agriculture. “The sheer scale of some farming operations in that part of the world require the preparation of hundreds of thousands of hectares for cereal crops. To work such a large amount of ground in a relatively short window of opportunity is a round-the-clock task that requires machines with wide working widths and a design to handle high working speeds,” Hamish says. Despite the impressive 10m and 12m working widths of the units sold in New Zealand, Bednar’s clever design means these machines fold to 3.0m for legal transportation on our roads. The operators who are running the first big Bednars here are finding that the design of the Swifterdisc XE allows the disc sections to lift clear at headlands, giving fast turnaround and excellent manoeuvrability.

Great performance

“With the 10m and 12m units 100 hectares a day is possible while running the tractor and machine at a realistic forward speed of 10-12 kph. This gives a huge daily throughput compared with 6.0m gear. It allows large areas to be worked in a timely fashion and eases pressure on farmer and contractor alike.” Hamish says. The 10m unit is being pulled with a 330hp John Deere 8335R, and the 12m unit is hitched to a 530hp John Deere 9530 pivot. The 12m machine tips the scales at a hefty 11.5 tonne. The heavy construction of these machines is evident in the sheer size of framework, pivots and hydraulic cylinders.

Excellent quality of work

Running 520mm blades mounted with Bednar’s unique ‘Twin-Disc’ system, these Swifterdisc cultivators are designed to incorporate large amounts of crop stubble, and top-working after the plough or primary tool. The sheer weight gives excellent penetration in heavy trash where lighter machines struggle. The twin disc system gives excellent clearance and flow of crop residue. The superior performance of the disc cultivator over a tined machine is most evident when working in stubble that has to be incorporated and mixed, or in heavier hard ground where tine machines struggle for penetration.

Right choice of roller

Both Swifterdiscs are operating in regions that contain some very stony areas, so the heavy duty 600mm rubber roadpacker roller was a logical choice. The V-profile roller is constructed with an extremely durable rubber compound. After 2500ha of use, the rubber roller is showing little sign of wear. ”With more of these monster units already sold and arriving for the coming spring, 4AG believe this is the start of a trend with larger scale operators looking to increase their capacity at the height of the season. There are a good number of high horsepower fixed frame and articulated tractors in the South Island in the 300hp-600hp bracket now, and these wider implements will really start to utilize the horsepower of these big rigs.”


Hamish Raikes
New Zealand

Blitz demonstration of SwifterDisc XE 10000 in Estonia

Bednar’s importer in Estonia Stokker Agri has recently delivered new John Deere 8295R tractor to big potato, wheat, rape seed farm.  We dropped in to discuss a cultivation tool to load the new workhorse properly.  As everybody knows best selling tool of tillage machinery is in field demonstration.  Fortunately farmers old disc cultivator was preparing seedbed and his neighbours SwifterDisc XE 10000 was doing the same nearby.  So we called the big yellow machine to the farmer’s field.  Watch it yourself!

SwifterDisc XE 10000 just arrived

OK, it’s productive.  What about work quality?

Seedbed by farmer’s current machine (to be fair discs have lost 15% of its diameter due to wear)

Seedbed by SwifterDisc XE 10000.  Nicely flat and consistent. 

Stokker Agri’s product manager Ergo Viil giving the farmer walk around the machine.

Profile of the winner.  Can’t see too much? Because it is too far ahead:)


Positive impressions about SwifterDisc XE 10000 from large UK farm

Successful demonstration took place in a 7000 acre farm in Norfolk, predominantly cereals and oil seed rape. The farm has introduced controlled traffic and are basing it around 10m so they have a 10m drill, a 6m deep cultivator which that has been cut back to 5m and is taking delivery of a 30m self-propelled sprayer shortly.

The intension is to work shallow to encourage a seed chit prior to spraying it off. The field where the video was taken was winter barley and farm manager wanted to work this very shallow because they were going to plant it with stubble turnips.  After initial run the farm manager walked into the field, said the machine was working to deep so depth was reduced and cultivator ran again. That was enough to make the farm happy eventhough at such depth it was impossible taking out the combine tracks.

Positive comments from the operator were the cultivator is simple to use and is very stable, it doesn’t bounce about like some of the other machines.

Gytis Slavinskas
Region: Baltic States 

10 Mtr cultivator makes short work of Canterbury fields

February 2014 saw delivery of NZ’s first Bednar 10mtr disc cultivator, into Canterbury cultivation and drilling contractor Te Pirita Enterprises.  Owner Steve Roberts says he was not sure what to expect operating such a wide machine, but after using the Swifterdisc XE 10000 he is pleasantly surprised how simple and maneuverable it is for it’s width.

Having stepped up from our previous 6.5mtr machine to the 10mtr, I was expecting to take some time adjusting to the extra width, and not be able to take it as many places, but we are finding due to the machine design we can go most places we could with our old cultivator.  The clever design with main transport wheels forward of the working sections, coupled with the optimum length drawbar for our tractor, means I can simply raise the working sections hydraulically, back the machine into a corner of the field and drive straight out, all done quite quickly.  Another feature of the machine that has surprised me is how easy it is to pull.  We are pulling it with a JD 8335R tractor, and pulling it comfortably at 10-12km/h.  Pretty impressive considering it’s working width and fact it weighs over 9 ton.  The Swifterdisc XE 10000 has two rows of 520mm scalloped discs, with the unique benefit of having the discs mounted in pairs off one central arm.  This design gives more even load on the disc hubs as well as providing a lot greater trash clearance when working in heavy quantities of straw or crop stubble.  Hydraulic levelling paddles mounted in front are useful when operating over ploughing, and the machine is specced with a large 590mm diameter rubber V-ring packer roller.

Another benefit of the Swifterdisc design is it’s compact transport dimensions.  Folding to 3mtr width for transport and large dimension transport wheels, the machine feels safe and stable on the road.  The designers have done a brilliant job of getting a machine that is so wide in work down to very manageable and compact dimensions for road travel.  The increased throughput of this machine will allow Steve to keep ahead of schedule during the busiest periods of his season.  When the pressure is on, workrates of 8-10 ha/hr will mean we can blow a lot of ground out in one day.  Working 10mtrs each pass instead of 6.5mtrs eases the pressure somewhat

Hamish Raikes | Product Specialist
P +64 6 363 7193 | F +64 6 363 7696 |  E hamish@4ag.co.nz
4AG LTD, SH 1, Foxton 4848, New Zealand | 0800 424 100


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