Click on a thumbnail below to see a larger, high-resolution version of the image.
Great Plains’ Vertical Tillage system will be highlighted at this year’s Agritechnica event including the manufacturer’s new Max-Chisel™ primary tillage tool which makes its European debut.
Vertical Tillage is a system-based approach developed by Great Plains to ensure that soils are well-structured in order to give plants the best possible environment for healthy growth and create the ideal conditions for optimum yields.
Doug Burgardt, Great Plains International Marketing Manager, who will be one of a number of Great Plains advisors available on the stand to provide visitors with more details about Vertical Tillage, explained the concept and the rationale behind the system: “Conventional horizontal tillage techniques are more prone to creating compacted layers which can be bad news for plant roots and ultimately crop yields. Roots in a top, lower-density layer can be diverted sideways when a higher-density layer is encountered,” he said.
“Vertical Tillage, however, focuses on ways of avoiding the creation of compacted layers in the soil, thereby maintaining the natural processes that help to feed and nurture the crop. These include the capillary action that enables water to percolate and drain through the soil and the development of a healthy root system.
“Vertical Tillage works by creating the vertical cracks and fissures that permit good water infiltration through the soil profile, so water-logging and ponding is avoided but the crop can seek out moisture when it needs it.
“Good Vertical Tillage practice leaves a uniform, unrestricted soil profile in which the plant can develop a deep and efficient root structure giving it full access to the soil’s valuable reserves of nutrients, air and moisture,” he concluded.
The key elements within an effective Vertical Tillage regime, claims Great Plains, include effective sub-soiling, maintaining the optimum soil density, managing residue effectively, consolidating the ground and creating the ideal seedbed.
Great Plains Vertical Tillage line-up for Agritechnica includes the in-line Sub-Soiler, which is designed to eliminate compaction layers with minimal disturbance to the topsoil, and the Turbo-Max® seedbed preparation tool which made its European debut at SIMA earlier this year. For the first time in Western Europe, Great Plains will also be showing its Max-Chisel vertical tillage implement.
The Max-Chisel is an aggressive primary tillage tool with exclusive concave turbo-wave blades that work at a depth of 10-13cm and leaves fields smoother and more uniform than most traditional disc cultivators. This enables a single-pass implement, such as the Turbo-Max, to finish the field ahead of the drill or planter. The two opposing rows of turbo-wave blades with their patented ‘samurai edge’, remove root balls while mixing, chopping, and incorporating residue to accelerate the decaying process.
Mounted to Great Plains’ individual C-shanks, 610mm blades on 381mm spacing allows for effective trash clearance.
The hybrid vertical tillage Max-Chisel also includes heavy-duty auto-reset shanks that work from 20-30cm deep to remove compaction layers and reset the soil profile. Shanks are positioned to create an effective spacing of 38cm.
Angled chopper wheels pull soil back into the shank voids, levelling the soil while maintaining the vertically-tilled profile left by the shanks.
All Max-Chisel models feature hydraulically adjustable disc gang depth control. With more than 1,100kg of horizontal trip force, the shanks are designed to keep working in the ground even under the hardest conditions. Great Plains also offer medium-duty chisel shanks as an option.
Max-Chisel is available in working widths of 3.51, 4.27, 5.03 and 5.79 meters. The Sub-Soiler offers working widths from 2.1 to 7.74 meters, while the Turbo-Max range comes in working widths of 2.6 to 14.6 meters.