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Big Tillage


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#1 LeadFarmer

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 10:40 AM

What are you guys using for big equipment? We have a John Deere 8310 RT, and we just picked up a Case/Steiger 535 Quadtrac.

What type/configuration of ripper/chisel/plow do you guys like to use? I am currently tearing out some old alfalfa with the 535 and a nine shank Dave Koenig DWK-500 subsoiler. Holy crap, talk about some turbo noise! I've never ran a tractor this big and I am fully in love at this point. It looks like i ran a gigantic finishing chisel through my field, so busted up are the clods! There are no ridges either, as the nine shanks are spaced every 20 inches.

What are your preferences for big iron?

How do you go about tearing out your hay? Do you plow first, rip it?

#2 mlappin

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 11:09 AM

What are your preferences for big iron?

How do you go about tearing out your hay? Do you plow first, rip it?


Used to use a MF4880 turned up to 400hp. Pulled a White 24 1/2 foot chisel, if it was spring tillage we'd hook a 26' field cultivator behind the chisel and do both passes at once. Subsoiler's have died out around here, a lot of old shallow clay tile that people quickly got tired of replacing after the first pass with a subsoiler. Probably sell all the big equipment since we've been a 100% no till going on five years now as I see no need for it as our yields have been consistently going up since starting the no-till.

Far as hay fields go, make the last cutting, spray with roundup and 2-4d after we have some regrowth and no till it in the spring.

#3 hay hauler

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 02:52 PM

No till if it is smooth...


400 hp IH

Kello-bilt disk model 400. 30 something inch disks that are 1/2in+ thick. one to two passes:cool:

30 ft finish disk one pass or so

30 foot cultipacker, and plant.

Works good with the rocks around here... No deep ripping as well, to much rock and hardpan to deal with. Little to no plowing as well

#4 mlappin

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 04:07 PM

Oh yeah, another big plus to the no-till, even though the guy who delivers our fuel is very likeable, I don't see him near much since parking the big tillage equipment.
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#5 LeadFarmer

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 12:45 AM

What are your reasons for sticking to no till, how long will you keep a field in alfalfa?

We will normally keep an alfalfa field for three years, and then you will see the big tractor headed that way. The alfalfa I am tearing out right now is getting one pass with that big Koenig subsoiler (16 feet) I'm able to go very deep, and my speed is 4.8-5 MPH, so my fracture is excellent.

Big iron is a neccesity down here, we have several growing seasons a year and absolutely have to be able to make fast turns. Right now I am turning lettuce ground that was just harvested and planting wheat on it. As soon as the wheat is harvested I will right back to lettuce in the winter.

#6 haybaler101

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 09:03 AM

What are your reasons for sticking to no till, how long will you keep a field in alfalfa?

We will normally keep an alfalfa field for three years, and then you will see the big tractor headed that way. The alfalfa I am tearing out right now is getting one pass with that big Koenig subsoiler (16 feet) I'm able to go very deep, and my speed is 4.8-5 MPH, so my fracture is excellent.

Big iron is a neccesity down here, we have several growing seasons a year and absolutely have to be able to make fast turns. Right now I am turning lettuce ground that was just harvested and planting wheat on it. As soon as the wheat is harvested I will right back to lettuce in the winter.

Big reasons for no-till-- like marty said, less $4 diesel fuel, a lot less invested in equipment, better crops because of better soil structure after a few years, and in my area, we are tired of sending good topsoil to the delta farmers in Louisana. It would be pointless to deep rip an alfalfa field because you have one of the best natural rippers growing there. With tap roots going down 15+ ft, you are not going to do that with your iron. Do like marty said and spray it with 2,4 D and round-up and go on to the next crop.

#7 mlappin

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 12:24 PM

Big iron is a neccesity down here, we have several growing seasons a year and absolutely have to be able to make fast turns. Right now I am turning lettuce ground that was just harvested and planting wheat on it. As soon as the wheat is harvested I will right back to lettuce in the winter.


Hard to get better fracture with big iron when a alfalfa plant will go fifteen foot deep.

Have started no-tilling soybeans into a field while the wheat was still being cut.

Have started no-tilling corn into alfalfa stubble before all the bales were even picked up. Come back in a few weeks and burn it down after the corn is up.

Kinda hard to get a faster turn than that.

#8 LeadFarmer

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 01:13 PM

Thanks for the replies guys! You don't see any no-till around here, so I am totally unfamiliar with the concept.

With the way the ground is here, we simply have to rip it deep every now and then or it will just get too damn hard. Plus, we flood irrigate and in the summer heat I've got to have my water soaking into the ground QUICK. If it stacks up at all during the summer my fields get scalded. With the flood irrigation also comes the need to laser your fields. Can't laser level dirt when it's as hard as cement.

Hard to get better fracture with big iron when a alfalfa plant will go fifteen foot deep.

Have started no-tilling soybeans into a field while the wheat was still being cut.

Have started no-tilling corn into alfalfa stubble before all the bales were even picked up. Come back in a few weeks and burn it down after the corn is up.

Kinda hard to get a faster turn than that.


Edited by LeadFarmer, 09 January 2012 - 01:17 PM.





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