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Old Stonebreaker
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Maybar said there is seldom mention of these in another thread. Took some pics today,so thought I'd post them for those who haven't seen one.
The first pic is looking at the front where all the sweeps are. These run just a couple of inches under the surface and cut the roots.
The second is the rod which rotates counterclockwise just under the surface also. By doing this it turns all the roots up so they can't get started again.
The third is a not very good pic of the rod drive.It is shaft driven by the wheel in the second pic. Now some of the more mechanically inclined are wondering how the wheel rotates clockwise yet the rod turns opposite. If you look closely at the third pic you'll see the sprocket attached to the drive shaft is "outside" the chain which makes the sprocket attached to the rod turn the opposite direction.
The fourth is a pic of the back showing the hanging harrows which break up any clods and smooth the ground to seal off the subsurface moisture so it won't evaporate so fast.
Mike
 

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Former MTF Admin.
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Hmmmm, interesting, never seen one before, I imagine that comes in pretty handy for large farm use :coffee:

:thanku: for the pics !
 

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i live in the middle of some huge farms,and they just spray to kill the weeds and then come back in what seems like a very short time and use the drills to seed. they very rarely ever turn the soil anymore around here.what keeps it from compacting? i know nothing about large scale farming,but i'm wondering if the lack of tilling is for erosion prevention?
 

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i live in the middle of some huge farms,and they just spray to kill the weeds and then come back in what seems like a very short time and use the drills to seed. they very rarely ever turn the soil anymore around here.what keeps it from compacting? i know nothing about large scale farming,but i'm wondering if the lack of tilling is for erosion prevention?
I'm not sure about the compaction of soil, but it seems that I have read, or was told that tilling soil up, really isn't good for the soil. Maybe that's why there needs to be so much fertilizer?? I guess that we'll have to wait until the farmers chime in..
Daryle.
 

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Minimum tillage minimizes compaction. But the main thing is that it saves on gas/fuel.

We have a woods on our property that has what looks like rich black organic dirt. Dig it out of the woods and it is loose. The looseness is from all the roots and stuff in it. Once that breaks down you have black gumbo which is just like a different color clay.

Some crops have an extensive root system, like alfalfa. Don't work the soil much and the root system lasts for a while and keeps the ground softer for new roots to penetrate.
 

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Forget to mention the main reason for the thread. Never seen one of those in our area of Michigan either. Must pull hard. An interesting machine. I'm sure the weeds didn't like it.
 

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I always wanted to get one of them, but never found one, don't need one now!
The no/min-till means no yield and PLENTY of compaction/erosion, because the water runs off no-till instead of soaking in!---Been there tried it PROVED my point many, many times over the years! --I always deep ripped and had some great crops!---without water loss/runoff/erosion! thanks; sonny
 

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dirtgeezer
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I am not a farmer by trade but when I was younger I did read Progressive Farmer magazine and knew a couple of Texas Aggies. I was told min-til is only effective in certain soils, like sandy soil.
I really like your truck picture,



Don't quit or give up , just get a bigger hammer!
 

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Got BOOST?
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thats funny..ive raised lots of acres of 50-55 bushel NO TILL beans. thats a pretty decent yield anywhere.
 

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Deerefarmer41
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We use these in the west. They are used for weed control, mostly in summer follow of grain fields. Because of lack of moisture, the ground is only planted every other year. Rod weeders are pulled thru the field two or three times during the summer. They do not pull too hard, D6 cat will pull 40 ft. of rod weeder, at a good speed.
 

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Rod weeders haven`t used here for many years now since continuous cropping has taken over as we get enough rainfall in most years.
 

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robmc
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You could pull 40ft of rod weeder with a 100 HP tractor. The main benefit of no till in our area is conservation of soil moisture. Every time you turn the soil by cultivating or discing, you dry out the soil.
 

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No-Till agriculture is kind of a misnomer. Minimum tillage would be a better way to describe the process from my limited experience of this method. With the proper equipment, soil type and adequate moisture it's possible to raise very good crops by re-cropping directly into standing stubble. The investment is considerable and the tractors used have to be very powerful to pull decent width equipment. The machine string consists of a set of sweeps to break the soil, a fertilizer system followed by the drill set.

One time over saves a lot of fuel and labor. This system will work in some areas for a couple of years and then the land must be turned with a bottom plow or chisel plowed and worked into summer fallow in the traditional manner.

The old rod weeders that were used in this area did not have sweeps ahead of the rod nor were harrows used behind them. It was usually Morning Glory that we used these machines to control and the roots of this plant were easily brought to the surface by the counter-rotating rod.

After about three passes over with the rod weeder it was necessary to till down about four inches with a CC Cultivator or equivalent machine. This was due to the rod weeder compacting the upper layer of soil and causing moisture loss.

As with nearly all farming methods the local conditions will dictate what works and how machinery is set up. The crops raised will be a large part of what works and what won't.

Mike
 

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Young Buck
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something the farmer next to my grandmother does is plant a what I think are deep turnips. the turnips aren't harvested, but left to rot. after they grow, they rot putting the nutrients back, and working like a plug aerator leaving empty space reducing compaction. Don't know the effectiveness but he drills his crops most of the time. this is outside of Gettysburg just F.Y.I. He might turn the soil every year or two in those fields. Minimum Till seems like a good Idea to reduce cost, and impact on the soil, but its not a complete replacement for the moldboard.
 

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something the farmer next to my grandmother does is plant a what I think are deep turnips. the turnips aren't harvested, but left to rot. after they grow, they rot putting the nutrients back, and working like a plug aerator leaving empty space reducing compaction. Don't know the effectiveness but he drills his crops most of the time. this is outside of Gettysburg just F.Y.I. He might turn the soil every year or two in those fields. Minimum Till seems like a good Idea to reduce cost, and impact on the soil, but its not a complete replacement for the moldboard.
Once you make a commitment to no-tilling, the plow heads to the scrap yard. Plowing "occasionally" just upsets the entire no till system. Freeze/thaw cycles and earthworms do the "tillage" in no till. Plowing every few years destroys the soil structure that no-tilling has built up. It's EITHER/OR, not a combination of both, if you want the FULL results.

The first real recognized no till cropping was done in Western Kentucky. Univ of Ky School of Agriculture was the first major University to launch studies on no-tilling. (While I was enrolled @ UK School of AG) (Almost 40 years ago now....!) It's been common practice here in this area for 25 plus years now. After leaving the tillage tools in the weeds for a few years, yield averages climb to exceed that of conventional tillage crops in the same fields.

No till isn't for "everywhere". But where it DOES work, it works splendidly. We haven't touched a plow, disc, ripper, zone builder, ect, to our ground in 22 years. I wouldn't consider returning to "the old ways" for love nor money...

MINIMUM tillage is a slightly different concept.
 
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