Tillage tools reflect need for precision, speed

From electronics to steel, the latest releases in tillage equipment are helping producers turn soil right

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Higher capacity and more options when it comes to setting tillage tools have become the latest trend in soil management.

During 2019, Deere, Sunflower and Case IH tillage gear are getting new tools that meet this demand.

Why it matters: Tillage tools are one of the last bastions of simplicity in agriculture tools, but they are now getting more electronic controls.

John Deere has the new 2680H, a high-speed disc that is capable of 10 to 14 miles per hour. A 20-inch disc, either smooth or notched, relies on the popular rubber torsion suspension. The units have nine inches of travel, making them able to handle rocky conditions or heavily rutted ground while still delivering an even field finish.

Jarred Karnei of John Deere said there are 15 sizes of the machine, from eight to 45 feet.

Depth control is based on a shimming system. All the bushings and bearings are greaseless, keeping daily maintenance to a minimum. A variety of packers are available for the unit, depending on soil types and tillage needs.

When it comes to precision tilling, the company is also offering its new 2660VT.

Karnei said the multiple functions of the new tilling machine mean that producers can choose to do as much or as little ground engagement as they choose.

The company is calling the design a variable intensity tillage tool and it can run up 10 miles per hour, depending on how is configured.

Available from 10 to 50 feet, the machine uses tandem wheels to add to its stability and flotation, and an optional stabilizer wheel is available. On the biggest machines, front-mounted, active hydraulic-managed casters on the outer wings come standard.

The custom settings range from zero to 12 degrees of gang angle, allowing for everything from sizing to heavy soil shifting and residue burying. The settings are managed from the cab, allowing for on-the-go adjustments.

For prescription applications, the Truset system can manage depth and rolling basket pressure through any Deere generation-four display.

Handling the soil is done with a new 22-inch, double cut, wavy-edge blade on 7.25 inch spacings.

AGCO’s Sunflower Till Control is a new precision tillage system that lets farmers monitor and manage tillage on the go with its high-speed rotary finisher, its heavy disc harrow and its series SF6631 vertical tillage tool line.

Larry Kuster of AGCO said the need for high quality seedbeds has never been higher as drill and planter speeds rise along with average producer acreage.

On its SF1436 disc harrow and the vertical tillage units, the till control provides fore and aft frame adjustments. This includes keeping wing slave cylinders in-phase. Re-levelling takes place with each raise from the ground.

Case IH also is adding more precision technology to tillage tools.

The company announced its new AFS Soil Command Agronomic Control Technology for tillage recently. The technology puts sensors in hydraulic cylinders and means more automated adjustments for tillage implements.

For example, if the depth of the main tillage tines on a cultivator are changed, the harrow unit on the tool will also be adjusted to maintain a consistent seedbed.

“AFS Soil Command helps producers overcome the challenges of properly setting their tillage tool to unlock more agronomic potential of their seedbed,” said Chris Lursen, Case IH tillage marketing manager.

The tillage implements can be adjusted as a farmer wishes, from the tractor cab, with the new system.

The AFS Soil Command agronomic control technology is being added to Case IH’s Tiger-Mate 255 field cultivator, single-fold True-Tandem disk harrows and vertical tillage tools, and the Ecolo-Tiger 875 disk ripper for spring 2019.

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