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Vertical tillage-superfarmer questions
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Posted 6/24/2013 15:33 (#3171948 - in reply to #3171580)
Subject: Re: Vertical tillage-superfarmer questions

SW Ontario
Ok, here's what we do. On our sandier ground we run one pass over the stalks in the fall at an angle to the rows to keep stalks from balling up in rows, followed by one pass in the spring towing a coil packer. What I was meaning by running in wet or tough stalk conditions is that it will push the stalk into the ground as it's cutting it and when the ground is wet it will pull more up to the top. It's very rare that we get dry dirt on top in the fall, but the few times we have I will wait until it rains. When the stalks are very dry they will just snap and fluff up not get covered. Some stalks will get hairpinned, but come spring that doesn't seem to be an issue, because over the winter the crimped stalk will be rotted out and just shatter. In fact, when I plant these fields, I'm hard pressed to find pieces of stalk bigger than a pencil. Row cleaners on the planter take care of the majority of them. All of our heavier ground gets chisel plowed with a salford CTS and once over with the VT.

I'm running a very modified JD disk frame with 22" wavy coulters bought from CFC Distributors in 2005. I think they still sell them now. I have my gangs running on about half the angle they did when it was a disk, which is more to get the blade into the ground (like giving a shovel a little twist as you dig a hole. I think the weight per blade on mine is less than anyone else (100-120lb per blade), and yet we can usually get it to go in 3-4" in the fall and have to hold it up to 4" in the spring. It's 10" spacing on the blades. I'm planning on putting a better set of harrows and crumbler baskets on the back in place of the JD harrows we've been using. Unless I find something better, which I doubt, it will be the same harrow configuration Salford uses on their RTS. They are adjustable 24" tine harrows with a 14" rolling basket.

As far as the argument over "true vertical tillage", I can sum it up this way. A cultivator drags dirt and lifts it up. A disc rolls dirt over perpendicular to the direction of travel. Vertical tillage picks it up and drops it back down onto the residue. Landoll and CaseIH tools are a hybrid of disk and VT, as they throw alot up, but rather than cut a furrow for the next blade to fill in, they kind of push the dirt sideways. I've talked to engineers at CaseIH and they came to the same conclusion as me, that a little sideways action will give you penetration without excess weight. I like my machine for what I do with it, as I feel the straight blades do more vertical tillage, but having them on gangs will level out chisel plowed ground better than individual ones like the RTS. Each tool has it's place and any dealer worth buying from will gladly bring one out and demo it.
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