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Tillage

Tillage is the agricultural preparation of soil by mechanical agitation of various types, such as digging and overturning. Tillage can be classified into two types, primary and secondary. Primary tillage is typically deeper and more thorough, producing a rough surface finish, whereas secondary tillage is shallower and more selective of location, producing a smoother surface finish. A good seedbed for crops requires secondary tillage.

Tillage Attachments

  • Disks

    • Pulverizes or smooths the soil.

  • Fertilizer Knives

  • Pulverizers and Rollers

    • Used to crush the clods and smooth the fields.

  • Rippers

    • Conditions crop residue and manages soil tilth, plant food availability and seedbed preparation.

  • Other

Tillage Tips

  • Run shallow tillage

  • When using a chisel plow, only run in dry conditions so that the soil will fracture

  • Set up your planter to handle more residue, especially in a corn-on-corn situation

 

How to Set a Tillage Machine

  • Properly pair the tractor and tillage tool

    • The general rule is 8 to 10 HP per foot to pull a tandem disc harrow at 5 to 6 mph. While the design of some tillage tools permits faster ground speeds, going too fast is an easy way to form ridges and furrows. It also can cause tillage tools to bounce, which will produce an unreliable tillage depth.

  • Modify the tongue to match drawbar height

    • Keep the tillage tool level and moving smoothly through the field. This will augment fuel use and minimize wear on parts such as the drawbar, level lift assembly and other components that may take on unwanted pressure.

  • Purge air from the hydraulic lines

    • This will guarantee the wings stay level with the machine’s center section. Due to air being more easily compressed than oil, air in the hydraulic lines can allow the wings to sag.

  • Level the tool

    • Leveling from side to side and from front to back will make certain the soil will be worked at a consistent, even depth. Keeping the tool level also helps optimize fuel efficiency, reduces wear on the implement, and allows the machine to handle crop residue more effectively.

  • Set the tillage depth

    • This should be set to your field conditions and to meet the needs of the upcoming task. A general rule of thumb for tillage depth of an implement such as a disc harrow is 25 percent of the blade diameter.

  • Gauge wheels

    • This will prevent front-wing corners from gouging. To confirm both wheels are consistent, use a tape measure.

Equipment Maintenance Tips

  • Check for worn or broken tillage components

    • Damaged or worn cutting edges can increase tractor draft and result in uneven soil surface.

  • Check the down-pressure springs

    • Make sure they are adjusted evenly; they may need to be set for more permeation.

  • Check the condition of the equipment’s frame

    • Make sure the frame isn’t bent; this can cause a big difference in tillage.

  • Check wheels and tires

    • The wheels and tires should be the same size, properly inflated and the wheel bearings well-greased.

[Links to Equipment Type Guides/Manuals]

[Links to Equipment Type Video]

Common Tractor Equipment Manufacturers

Aerway

Agri

Alamo

American

Argo

Befco

Bison

Bobcat

Bush Hog

Case

Caterpillar

Cub Cadet

Cub Cadet Yanmar

Deere

Dirt Dog

Ditch Witch

Enorossi

Farm King

Firestone

Ford

Freedom

Frontier Cargo

Genie

Hardee

Hay King

Howse

Iron King

Jcb

Jlg

John Deere

Kincaid

King-Kutter

Komatsu

Land Pride

Leinbach

LMC

Long

M&k

Mahindra

Premier

Rome Industries


Shaver

Silverlite

Sitrex

Speeco

Sun Burst

Tar River

Tarco

Taylor

Taylor-Way

Unlimited Fabrications

Unverferth

Vermeer

Viper

Williams

Woods

Worksaver

 

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