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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Vertical Tillage 3

Maybe I have not made myself clear in the past, so I will say it.  I think that in general keeping residue on the surface in crop fields is a good idea.  I can see we might have needs to manage the residue and the soil both in some way.  In September I passed along this information on a no-till ripper I ran across.  While we do not endorse any products, we do like to let people know when something works.  In November I gave More information on the in-line, "no-till" ripper. 

At my consultants meeting in Florida I listened to a presentation by my fellow consultant Bill Lehmkuhl made a presentation on vertical tillage as well.   Tools he likes are in-line rippers like the one I featured for deep tillage and shallow vertical tillage tools that chop up residue but do not move a lot of soil. He says the tool should just level off the deep tillage work and run just about the planting depth.  He says if it looks like a disk, it will probably create too much compaction.  He did not indicate any preference for coulters as long as they run straight and not at an angle.  He did discuss using an Aerway in certain situations as well.  I also like the Aerway when properly used.  Baskets or harrows behind can provide some levelling as well and help hold the residue in place during rain events.

Bill's major emphasis was that you need to do some digging to see what kinds of problems you need to correct before you do anything.  Also he said  to make sure that the machinery is doing what you want it to do.  A broom can be a useful tool to see what is going on with your vertical tillage tool.

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