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January is the month that has ushered in 2023, and with it comes an agronomic practice that kicks off the year’s new production cycle: winter (or dry) pruning. This renews the productive part of the plants, stimulating them to produce new, lush foliage in the spring. Each plant needs its own type of care, e.g. deciduous trees should be pruned from the beginning of November until the end of February, evergreens can be pruned from mid-December until the end of February. The ideal moment is therefore the late-winter period, avoiding excessively harsh climates that can lead to frost damage on cuts and branch breakage due to heavy rain. This is because these “openings” in the plant are easy points of attack for pests and micro-organisms that proliferate with moisture.
Choosing to carry out winter pruning with the help of equipment lowers the costs of cutting, speeds up and compensates for the possible lack of specialised labour, and last but not least, this decision ensures more timely intervention. The presence of a tractor during dry pruning does not exclude the activity of the operator. In fact, mechanical winter pruning can also be followed by manual trimming, whereby the tractor, at the front equipped with cutter bars (pruners or topping bars), has a trolley at the rear dedicated to transporting the operators in charge of trimming. Facilitated manual pruning – as it is called – is a job requiring extreme precision (which also leads to greater future production, thanks to the buds left on the plants), which entails excellent grip on the ground by the vehicle and a great ability to ensure the comfort of the operators. However, it is also possible to carry out full mechanical pruning, which will only involve the use of the front of the tractor and therefore pruners. To go into more detail on this issue, it is important to be aware of a few simple rules for correct winter pruning for the longevity of the vineyard or orchard. The basic rule is that the cutter bar is positioned as close to the cordon as possible. This will help work with greater precision, avoiding overproduction and damage to the plant. Attention must also be paid to the sensitivity of the plants. For the more fragile varieties, it is important to prune in the period before vegetative recovery, so that wounds can heal more quickly.
These issues are dear to Landini, because they combine the well-being of the land – be it orchards or vineyards -, the comfort of the operator – not only in the driver’s seat – and the efficiency of the tractors – which must guarantee correct and productive work. It is precisely for this reason that the brand engineers at Argo Tractors have designed and built the REX4 – the flagship model of specialised orchard and vineyard tractors. Characterised by high levels of agility and manoeuvrability designed specifically to offer the best for the farmer in the context of pruning in confined spaces, this tractor is a perfect combination of technology, ergonomics, comfort, configurability and design. Adding to the versatility of the Landini REX4 range is the possibility of choosing models that best suit the operator’s needs:
The REX4 F, S and GT models share the option of a suspended front axle with differential lock and wet disc brakes that provide effective all-wheel braking, making it the perfect partner on uneven terrain and where there is a greater need for control. They also feature an optimal steering angle of up to 55°. The REX4 V also features an important innovation that makes it easier to steer: the High Pivot narrow rigid axle with a minimum measurement of 1,000 mm overall.
The extreme attention to the operator’s needs is embodied by the four-post cab available on the REX 4. This is much more than just an operator’s work station, it is a proper office that provides every comfort to make work a pleasure.
These are the highlights of the cab that is the result of Landini engineering dedicated to putting the operator at the heart of the design. However the features of the REX 4 are different but all live up to Argo Tractors global brand leadership. These include a wide choice of hydraulics and PTO. Farmers will be able to decide between a double pump of 50 + 30 litres per minute (standard) or a triple pump of 30 + 58 + 36 litres per minute (optional), rear spool valves and rear power lift with a capacity of 2,700 or 3,400 kilograms, up to three front spool valves and a joystick for controlling front implements; finally, the mechanical or hydraulic PTO with two or four speeds (540, 540 Eco, 1000 and 1000 Eco).
Last but not least is the Advanced Driving System that increases steering rigidity as speed increases, as well as counterbalancing the forces produced by the wheels on the steering wheel when working on slopes. Also available are Topcon Agriculture’s GPS-assisted driving system and the Landini Fleet & Remote Diagnostic Management telematics protocol, designed to remotely monitor fleet activities, manage vehicles and intervene promptly if necessary.
A benchmark in technology, design and comfort, Landini establishes itself as the ideal partner for all farmers who want the best for their work and the well-being of their fields, even and especially during winter pruning. A guarantee in all four seasons!!