Dealers demo fall tillage equipment in Lakeville

LAKEVILLE, Minn. — Three equipment dealers brought tillage systems to a sweet corn field in Lakeville on Aug. 8 so farmers could see them in action. 

Minnesota Ag Group, Inc. of Northfield brought a Case IH Ecolo-Tiger 870. J & S Repair of Grand Meadow demonstrated Kuhn Krause's Dominator. SEMA Equipment, Inc. of Northfield brought a Salford 9809 Disc Ripper Harrow and a Salford 570 Residue Tillage Specialist. 

In addition to the dealers' staff, representatives from Case IH, Kuhn Krause and Salford Farm Machinery were there to answer questions. 

This is the time of year that farmers have the opportunity to leave their operations and think about fall tillage systems before the busy harvest season begins, said Wade Oman, a district manager with Kuhn Krause. 

Aaron Zweber of Elko helped coordinate the event. 


After the equipment made passes down the field, trenches were dug so everyone could see and compare what the machines did to the soil profile. 

Don Malecha, a dairy farmer from Northfield, was particularly interested in seeing what the equipment was doing to break up the hardpan. His father rents the field where the demonstration took place. 

The Ecolo-Tiger 870, Dominator and Disc Ripper Harrow are primary tillage tools that have a combination of chisel discs to break down crop residue, shanks to loosen the soil and a leveling system. 

The ability to break down crop residue is becoming increasingly important to handle stronger-stalked and higher-yielding corn produced today, equipment representatives said. 

The Ecolo-Tiger 870 is rugged and was made with a simple design to reduce maintenance needs, said Case IH territory sales manager Bill Whitworth and Minnesota Ag Group's Bill Malecha. It can cut up more residue faster than the competition, they said, thanks in large part to the X-gang. The X-gang is a set of chisel discs in the front angled like a letter "X" to break down more stalks on the first pass.

Meanwhile, Travis Warmka, vice president of J & S Repair, said that the Dominator's shanks are spaced 18 inches apart, which is less than what is on competitor brands so it does a more thorough job of loosening the soil. Kuhn Krause district manager Wade Oman added that the system is designed to mix residue evenly in the soil and reduce clod sizes. 

The 9809 Disc Ripper Harrow is also designed for managing residue and soil density in one pass. It's made to stay deep in the field, not ride up and over tough obstacles, in order to break up the soil profile. Tine bars help with surface leveling. Its rolling basket has flat bars that provide an additional chopping effect as the system moves down the field, said Salford representative Doug Hansen. The bars are on an angle. 

"It's almost self-cleaning when you go through the field," he said. 


The Salford 570 Residue Tillage Specialist also demonstrated by SEMA provides shallow tillage. It may be used to save on operating costs compared to conventional tillage systems. It can also be used in the fall in front of primary tillage or in the spring in front of a planter. This piece of equipment is particularly useful for farmers who have soils that are sandier or don't easily compact, said SEMA sales representative Adam Norby. 

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