Manufacturers are switching their focus from moisture conservation implements to full-tilt tillage tools as waterlogged fields become the muddy new norm rather than the exception.
In response to farmer demand, Sunflower introduced two new implements in September: the 6650-48 vertical tillage tool and two split-wing 1436 disc harrows.
Dennis Lewallen, chief engineer on both cultivator projects, said there are valid reasons why farmers are adding tillage implements to their equipment lineups.
The bottom line is that zero tillage has inadvertently created four distinct problems for farmers that only tillage can fix:
“More weeds are becoming resistant to chemicals, so some form of tillage is necessary.”
Weed specialists in the northern Great Plains states and across the prairie provinces are nearly unanimous in their belief that glyphosate was too easy to use and farmers came to rely on it too much. Herbicide resistance is the ugly result.
Many regions have had almost a decade of above-average rainfall, but some farmers are still adjusting to the idea that they should do everything possible to conserve soil moisture. Those waterlogged fields need tillage to dry the soil.
Tire ruts have become another big factor because of the mud, and tire ruts don’t take care of themselves.
However, it’s not only muddy conditions that call for surface tillage. Depending on soil type, long-term zero till fields can develop a rough surface that’s hard on sprayers and combines.
Many zero-till producers are beginning to realize that the frost they once figured would break up soil compaction isn’t doing the bang-up job they assumed it would.
Read the full article on The Western Producer.
Today’s farmers have to overcome numerous hurdles in preparing optimum seedbeds: hard-packed soil, heavy residue left over from genetically modified crops, erosion concerns, and continued demands for speed and efficiency. To meet the challenge, Sunflower offers more than 100 models and configurations of seeding and tillage tools, each designed to help enhance seed-to-soil contact for rapid and uniform emergence. That means greater efficiency, better yields, higher profits.
Indeed, with almost 70 years of excellence, farmers have come to trust Sunflower. It’s a name synonymous with quality and dependability. Now, that same excellence can be found in new Sunflower Genuine Tillage Parts, such as blades, sweeps, chisels and points.
Just like having the right-sized tractor to pull these exceptionally effective and efficient implements, replacement parts are critical to the best-in-class operation of Sunflower Seed and Tillage tools. Ensure you maintain that high level of performance in your fields with Sunflower Genuine Tillage Parts.
When it comes replacement parts, get the ones that Sunflower says are the best, the highest quality, the best performing, and the longest lasting.
The RG700 is among top products nominated by readers of No-Till Farmer magazine for Product of the Year. Voting is open for growers only through Saturday, November 8, in 13 different categories, including Category 9-Spraying Equipment. Multiple products can be cast within each product category.
Visit http://www.no-tillfarmer.com/pages/Vote-Now-Open-For-No-Till-Product-Of-The-Year.php to learn more and cast your vote for your favorite products. You could be one of 20 lucky voters who will receive a No-Till Farmer shirt just by voting!
The winners will be announced in the Winter 2015 issue of No-Till Farmer’s Conservation Tillage Guide and will be recognized at an awards ceremony on Friday, Jan. 16, at the 23rd annual National No-Tillage Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Engineered for smaller fields, the nimble RG700 sprayer was recognized in 2013 as CropLife Iron Product of the Year and AgriMarketing magazine’s New Product of the Year, and as a 2014 recipient of an AE50 design award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).
How do you protect your soils from yield-sapping hardpan?
“Soil compaction is one of the most common problems farmers face today – it severely limits yields and impacts margins,” says Cameron McKenzie, Seeding & Tillage Product Marketing Manager for the farm equipment brand, Challenger. “However, key steps can be taken to deal with it through the use of proper soil management.”
“As the name implies, compaction occurs when soil particles are compacted together, restricting the amount of space for the air and water needed for optimum plant growth. Compaction can occur naturally or be caused by farming practices. Most often, compaction is created by today’s modern heavy equipment traffic. The key to controlling it is to understand your farm’s soils, ascertain the root cause of compaction and learn how to reduce its costly effects.”
“Compaction tends to build up over time and gets worse every time you work your fields – most particularly in wet conditions,” he says. “If you haven’t deep-ripped your fields for example, compaction from a wet spring three years ago can dramatically lower yields further down the line.”
Certain soils compact more easily than others. Soils made up of particles of about the same size compact less than soils with particles of varied sizes. Wet soils compact more easily than dry, while soils high in organic matter have a better structure and are more likely to resist compaction.
Some important things to remember:
- Most compaction is caused by equipment traffic
- Up to 80% of compaction in the field occurs on the first pass of the season
- Surface compaction is caused by high ground pressure created by reduced contact area
- Deep compaction is caused by high axle loads
- Slip compaction is caused by low surface contact areas and smearing of the topsoil
- Pinch-row compaction is caused by dual or triple wheels as ground pressure from the tyres shifts from the centre of the tyre to the outside
To read the full article, please click here
While the skies above may look ominous in this picture, the tractors and equipment were in for a day of hard work ahead. Several weeks ago in American Falls, Idaho, AGCO dealer Agri-Service, LLC had its first of a series of events called Fall Tillage days. This is a chance for their customers and prospects get behind the wheel of our tractors and demonstrate them along with our tillage equipment. “In attendance at this particular event were approximately 18 guests representing about 8 local farm operations,” said Adam Hubbard, Marketing Manager at Agri-Service.
Available to demo were a Challenger MT685 pulling a Sunflower 4511 Disc Chisel, a Challenger MT765 pulling a Sunflower 1436 Disc Harrow, and a Challenger MT865 pulling a Sunflower 4630 Disc Ripper. Everyone in attendance was able to demonstrate each of these machines and Agri-Service salesmen as well as AGCO Product Specialists were on-hand to answer questions and point out key features of the equipment and highlight their benefits. All were able to easily demonstrate the ability to till under the crop residue while leaving an impressive finish.
As these machines were parked on a well-traveled road prior to the start of the day, there were some walk-ups inquiring about the impressive display including the static Gleaner Super Series S88 which was prominently showcased as well.
“We had positive feedback from all of the customers that attended. All were able to operate the equipment and were impressed by the tractors as well as the performance of each tillage piece. Some of them had used Sunflower [before] and some hadn’t,” stated Hubbard. When asked if anything in particular stood out to the guests, Hubbard replied, “the SF 4630, the big disc ripper and it performed very well in addition to the incredible ability and performance of the MT865 tractor.”
Agri-Service has three more upcoming Fall Tillage events in October. To learn more, click here.