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Can someone explain the Rawson zone till system to me?
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WTXCottonguy
Posted 5/10/2011 00:27 (#1768118)
Subject: Can someone explain the Rawson zone till system to me?



Lorenzo, tx
Doing some searching for strip-till and the name Ray Rawson keeps popping up. Its my understanding that he put three coulters on the front of his planter and thats his version of zone/strip-till. Does someone use this method? If so do you have some pictures? TIA
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dointhedrt
Posted 5/10/2011 01:57 (#1768165 - in reply to #1768118)
Subject: RE: Can someone explain the Rawson zone till system to me?



Edgeley, ND
I've never used it but do have some history with the story. Yes it was a 3 coulter system and Ray Rawson experimented with applying liquid fert at the 2 outside coulters. He planted in the strip and felt the fertilizer along both sides of the row gave the roots an immediate nutrient source. He explained when he applied it to just one side the difference in root growth to that side was very noticible. He later designed the straight shank machine that Brillion put into production that they used on their zone builder and their strip-till machine
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dointhedrt
Posted 5/10/2011 02:01 (#1768167 - in reply to #1768118)
Subject: RE: Can someone explain the Rawson zone till system to me?



Edgeley, ND
I've never used it but do have some history with the story. Yes it was a 3 coulter system and Ray Rawson experimented with applying liquid fert at the 2 outside coulters. He planted in the strip and felt the fertilizer along both sides of the row gave the roots an immediate nutrient source. He explained when he applied it to just one side the difference in root growth to that side was very noticible. He later designed the straight shank machine that Brillion put into production that they used on their zone builder and their strip-till machine
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pat-michigan
Posted 5/10/2011 07:29 (#1768250 - in reply to #1768118)
Subject: RE: Can someone explain the Rawson zone till system to me?


We used the Rawson system for a lot of years. Very happy with the results generally speaking. In our case, we used a 12 row cart. The first was a prototype when Ray originally went to a folding bar design, the second was a more refined newer cart, We ran the coulters and planter in one trip. The advantage of the cart was first of all, a coulter depth adjustment didn't take hours as we could just lower or raise the bar rather than individual coulters. Secondly, the planter didn't have to bear the grief of running anything other than the units. We have always dropped fert with the planter, so the fert part of the Rawson set up wasn't foreign to us.

Ray, looking back, was considerably ahead of the curve when talking about strip till. He called his system zone till, but the concepts are close to the same. We met Ray in the early 80's, he had already developed a lot of his coulter system at that time. He was convinced that it would only work in a 2 or 3 county area of Michigan at that time - not sure how many countries his coulters ended up in. When he first started, 2" 8 wave coulters were about all that was available. A guy just south of me developed the 13 wave 1" coulter, that really gained acceptance and helped us in our soils.  



I may have to e-mail you some pictures, I'm not good at getting them on here.   



Edited by pat-michigan 5/10/2011 11:14
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NoTill1825
Posted 5/10/2011 08:09 (#1768288 - in reply to #1768118)
Subject: RE: Can someone explain the Rawson zone till system to me?


NC Indiana
We have guys around here still using the 3 coulter set up, though most of them are planter mounted vs the cart Pat was talking about. The idea, as I understand it, was that the middle coulter would set ahead of the flanking coulter and open up the soil while the flanking coulters (3-4"'s either side of the middle coulter) would toss any loose soil back into the center to produce a level seed bed. All of the guys w/ planter mounted systems had to lengthen their planter drawbars out to allow room for the extra coulters. The fanciest one I ever saw was one guy had a 12 RN cart w/ a 5 ton dry box on it and 2 -600 gal saddle tanks on a Cat and ran dry on one side of the row and liquid on the other.
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pat-michigan
Posted 5/10/2011 11:15 (#1768479 - in reply to #1768250)
Subject: RE: Can someone explain the Rawson zone till system to me?


Hopefully these pics load...



(354383-r1-13-12a (2).jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments 354383-r1-13-12a (2).jpg (48KB - 141 downloads)
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pat-michigan
Posted 5/10/2011 11:20 (#1768484 - in reply to #1768250)
Subject: RE: Can someone explain the Rawson zone till system to me?


Another view



(354383-R1-08-17A (2).jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments 354383-R1-08-17A (2).jpg (57KB - 107 downloads)
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Ron..NE ILL..10/48
Posted 5/11/2011 06:48 (#1769384 - in reply to #1768250)
Subject: RE: Can someone explain the Rawson zone till system to me?



Chebanse, IL

We were well-acquainted w/Ray's system also in 'the mid-'90s. We bought a Kinze planter & mounted the Rawson 3-coulter system. Neighbor then bought one of Ray's 1000 gal carts & it carried a mounted IH planter. A couple yrs later, we bought a 12r Rawson cart also along w/Ray's toolbar. We mounted JD planter units on it. We also ran the cart in the fall as an experimentation doing strip till. Yes, we too thought Ray's concept was strip tilling, but he chose to call it "coulter tillage", or "zone tillage". I believe there was some legal wrangling w/the names back then re. patents.

Re. the liquid fertilizer system, the 2 "side" coulters could be equipped w/injection tubes that injected fertilizer right behine that coulter. The center of the side coulters (they were staggered also) was 4" from the center of the lead coulter. Thus, your starter fertilizer got injected at a point 4" from the theoritcal seed trench, though the seed row units would be quite a ways behind the coulters. But, the mixing action of the coulters actually moved the fertilizer a little closer to the seed. Fertilizer was optional. Some also had dry fertilizer tubes (boots). With the liquid or dry system, you could place on type of fertilizer on 1 side of the seed, and yet another type on the other side of the seed trench.

Haven't seen Ray for a few yrs now.





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