What is high-speed tillage?
High-speed tillage is a general term for tillage passes carried out at speeds over 7.5 mph (12 km/h). It is most often associated with specific tools such as high-speed discs (also known as compact discs) and vertical tillage (VT) tools.
What does a high-speed disc do?
A high-speed disc can be used as primary tillage to size and incorporate crop residue into the top 1-5” (3-12 cm) of the soil for faster breakdown following harvest. It can also be used as a seedbed preparation tool to control weeds and level the soil following a primary tillage pass.
What are the benefits of a high-speed disc?
A high-speed disc promotes soil organic matter by accelerating the decomposition of crop residue and cover crops. It also helps control weeds that are resistant to herbicides by mechanically destroying them. Most high-speed discs are available with a range of rear attachments that provide benefits such as anchoring the residue into the soil to prevent movement from wind, clod size reduction, and producing a smooth, level field finish.
What is the difference between vertical till and a high-speed disc?
Both types of machines operate at high speeds and shallow working depths. Vertical tillage (VT) tools utilize coulters or blades with little to no concavity and mounted at shallow angles (less than 10°) to size crop residue and till the soil with minimal horizontal shearing or smearing action. The reduction of the horizontal action avoids creating abrupt density changes in the soil profile; however, this can come at the expense of reduced weed control and less residue incorporation.
High-speed discs utilize concave discs, often with notches, mounted at aggressive angles (greater than 10°) to incorporate crop residue and weeds into the soil for faster breakdown. This action leaves less residue on the surface and reduces the chances for wind and water-related movement. High-speed discs generally require more power per unit of working width since they generally operate at slightly deeper depths and move more soil.
Are high-speed discs used for spring tillage or fall tillage?
High-speed discs can be successfully used for both spring and fall tillage. Following harvest in the fall, a pass with a high-speed disc will slice and work in the crop residue to help it break down faster over the winter months. If used for spring tillage, a high-speed disc will also slice and incorporate any remaining residue from the cash crop or cover crop. An additional function that is important for spring seedbed preparation is the leveling and finishing function of a high- speed disc. The rear attachment is designed to leave a soil finish suitable for planting.
Can a high-speed disc handle heavy crop residue?
The ability of a high-speed disc to handle heavy crop residue depends on its design and configuration. For greatest success, look for a machine with a heavy frame and large clearance under the frame and between the rows of disc blades. These design features allow the residue to flow smoothly through the machine without plugging or building up. Additionally, larger and heavier disc blades will more efficiently slice through tough residue than smaller, lighter disc blades.
What is the best high-speed disc for me?
The KUHN Optimer and KUHN Krause Interceptor share the same overall goal of sizing and incorporating crop residue for fast breakdown while leaving an even field finish. However, there are some differences that are important to understand to ensure you find the best high-speed disc for your operation.
The KUHN Optimer is a close-coupled high-speed disc that excels in lower residue and moisture levels and areas where narrow transport dimensions and outstanding maneuverability are required. The Optimer is available in a range of mounted and trailed working widths to suit both smaller and larger tractors.
The KUHN Krause Interceptor offers an industry-exclusive design with a long distance between the front and rear rows of disc blades. This, coupled with the tandem gang layout, produces a machine that is well-suited for large amounts of tough residue and very wet, challenging conditions. The Interceptor is available as a trailed machine with wider working widths to match broad-acreage farms with high-horsepower tractors.