Farmers refining their approach to tillage are on the lookout for new ways to prepare the seedbed for the following-year crop. From combination tools to the rising popularity of vertical tillage, the fall farm shows had a range of choices on hand.
Rising concerns over herbicide-resistant weeds have producers rethinking tillage in new ways. For those committed to conservation tillage there are new rigs that can knockdown weeds, size residue and leave a protected seedbed ready to plant into. And for producers who have soils where more tillage is needed, you'll find options there too.
Conservation tillage, vertical tillage and combination tillage tools offer plenty of options. You'll even find tillage producers who are thinking about the rising concern of over-the-road transport, creating innovative narrow fold designs. And tillage producers are working on ways to handle tough residues, like new-generation corn stubble that breaks down more slowly.
So check out this gallery of tillage tool choices as you plan for 2014. The images and information were prepared by the Farm Progress show coverage team including Josh Flint, Tom Bechman, Mindy Ward and Lon Tonneson.
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1. Improved vertical tillage
<p>The RD4100 Series Reel Disk is McFarlane’s latest offering in vertical tillage. The implements feature patent-pending Dura Reel with flow through technology and heavy-duty, maintenance-free, self-aligning sealed bearings for longer life and durability. All models also come with reel mount rock guards to help protect reel mounts. Eight models are available, from widths of 12 feet, 3 inches up to 45 feet, 8 inches. The RD-4130-RB (30 feet, two inches) model pictured retails for $69,581. For more information, contact McFarlane at 800-627-8569 or <a href="http://www.flexharrow.com">www.flexharrow.com</a>.</p>
2. Vertical tillage tool
<p>Great Plains Turbo-Vator is a tillage tool with a wide range of applications. It can be run in the fall at maximum depth to reset the soil profile, size soil residue and dislodge root systems. Or, run it in the spring with 12-inch sweeps for seedbed preparation. The gang angles can be hydraulically adjusted from 0 to 7 degrees on the go. The Turbo-Vator comes in five sizes, from 23 feet 3 inches up to 44 feet 3 inches. Contact Great Plains, Salina, Kan., at <a href="http://www.greatplainsmfg.com">www.greatplainsmfg.com</a>.</p>
3. English tillage
<p>Carroll, Iowa’s Onken Feedlots is now offering the British-built Sumo Quatro soil finisher. The Quatro is designed with 4 elements, all tuned to give the finish required. Three of the 4 elements are hydraulically adjustable. The Quatro is available in five widths. The five-leg subsoil model retails for around $24,995. Contact Onken Feedlots at 712-830-6394 or <a href="http://www.onkenfeedlots.net">www.onkenfeedlots.net</a>.</p>
4. Extremely versatile rotary harrow
<p>Rite Way’s Maxi rotary harrows are designed for maximum versatility. Operators can adjust the angle of the tines from 20 to 45 degrees from the tractor cab. Depending on the angle, the Maxi can be configured to knock down weeds, break up heavy trash, remove root balls or level the soil. And, at 18-inches in diameter, the Maxi has the largest tines on the market. The Maxi is available in four different widths. The 38-foot model’s suggested retail price is $45,100. Contact Rite Way, Saskatchewan, Canada, at 800-352-8822 or <a href="http://www.ritewaymfg.com">www.ritewaymfg.com</a>.</p>
5. Disc harrow with a new angle
<p>Lemken’s Rubin 9 is a compact disc harrow designed with an aggressive angle to the ground for intensive soil mixing at depths of only 3 inches. The 24.5-inch diameter discs are 6 mm thick for excellent penetration and longer life. Each disc has its own ball bearing. The Rubin 9 is available in widths from 10 feet to 40 feet. The MSRP for the 20-foot model is $73,000. Contact Lemken, West Fargo, ND, at 701-630-9154 or <a href="http://www.lemken.com">www.lemken.com</a>.</p>
6. Upgraded disc harrow
<p>Krause's new 8210 disc harrow replaces the 8200. Ranging from 19 to 44-foot widths, it has been upgraded to handle the needs of field-to-field transport. The largest size has a transport width of 17 feet 7 inches. A hydraulic package moves the wing wheels in, so it can become more narrow for transport. "The farms are never all together anymore," says Curt Davis, Krause marketing manager. "It's an 80 here, and an 80 there, and we're farming thousands of acres nowadays." For more information, visit <a href="http://www.kuhnkrause.com">www.kuhnkrause.com</a> , or call620-663-6161.</p>
7. Field cultivator ready to work
<p>Kongskilde has a new field cultivator, the Vibro Till 8200, available in single fold and double fold versions. It has 162 inches of frame clearance. For durability, it has a 4-by-4 inch box frame, and the framework is extruded through all frame members. "What we were trying to accomplish in this model was more trash clearance and more durability on the larger sizes," says Steve Schroeder, Kongskilde tillage product manager. For more information call 309-820-1090.</p>
8. Updating a workhorse
<p>Farmers looking for a versatile combination tillage tool will find the new Ecolo-Tiger 875 a good candidate. The new machine is entering the market to replace the Ecolo-Tiger 870. It features a powder coat finish from the new paint line installed in the Goodfield, Ill, plant where tillage equipment is built. The machine is designed for better residue management, especially in Bt corn where stalks can be difficult to till. The tillage points themselves have been redesigned as well to enhance service life. And across the machine there are a lot of other updates and changes. You can learn more by visiting <a href="http://www.caseih.com" target="new">Caseih.com</a>.</p>
9. Tidy transport
<p>Now moving disks down narrow country roads is a little easier. Summer Manufacturing introduced its remodeled frame Narrow-Transport Diamond Disks. It is available with 28.5-foot cutting widths, but folds up to 15.5-feet wide for transport. The DT9530 model comes with notched, 25-inch-diameter low concavity blades for use in heavy residue or wet conditions. Finishing options include a 3-bar mounted harrows or rolling baskets with internal mud scrapers. List price for the DT9530 with rolling baskets is $83,281. Summers Manufacturing is located in Devils Lake, ND. For more information on the Narrow Transport DT9530 call (800) 732-4392 or visit <a href="http://www.summersmfg.com">www.summersmfg.com</a></p>
10. Fold and go
<p>The Landoll 2410 Weatherproofer is a fold-up version which wasn’t available earlier. This primary tillage tool is equipped to do whatever you need to do. Now it folds into a unit 14 foot, six inches wide and 13 feet, six inches high for transport between fields. The tool is equipped with disk gangs and chisels to provide primary tillage action. The model show is also equipped with both a tine harrow and a rolling basket to smooth the surface out behind the tool List price is $79,000 for this folding model. Contact Landoll Corporation, Marysville, Kan., 800-428-5655, or: <a href="http://www.landoll.com"><em>www.landoll.com</em></a><em>..</em></p>
11. New coulter and chisel entry
<p>Landoll expands its’ 2100 series coulter-chisel series with the Landoll 2131, featuring 19 shanks and covering 24 feet in width. It folds for transport down the road. This model is beefed up for the toughest ground, and even features a stronger hitch to pull the rig. The shanks are auto-reset so that if you have rocky soils, there is less danger of shearing bolts or worse. List price for this unit is $89,000. You can find out more about the coulter chisel by contacting Landoll Corporation, Marysville, Kan., 800-438-5655, or at: <a href="http://www.landoll.com"><em>www.landoll.com</em></a><em>.</em></p>
12. In-row ripper
<p>Go after soil compaction when soils are dry with the new model 2510 in-row ripper from Landoll. This unit features heavy-duty tires, big shanks and even auto-reset in case you’re operating the rippe4r in rocky soils. Everything about this model is designed to handle the toughest soils and still last for a long time, spokespersons say. Shanks are redesigned for this model, and are geared to do an even better job of ripping under the right conditions. List price is $23,500. Learn more by contacting Landoll Corporations, Marysville, Kan., at 800-438-5655, or at: <a href="http://www.landoll.com"><em>www.landoll.com</em></a><em> . </em></p>