1992 - Volume #16, Issue #4, Page #06[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Pasture Aerator Built From Rotary HoeOld rotary hoes can be easily converted into pasture aerators, according to Nebraska farmer Fred Kroger who modified a 12-ft. wide International rotary hoe into an aerator by removing every other tine from each hoe wheel, then mounting four 2-ft. long sections of concrete culvert on top of the hoe so the remaining tines would penetrate.
Originally, there were 12 tines on each wheel. Once converted, there are just 6.
He pulls a 12-ft. wide, 400-lb. capacity gravity flow fertilizer spreader be-hind the aerator.
"It improves the quality of pasture and alfalfa ground by allowing more water to soak in," says Kroger. "The ground is so hard and dry on some of my rolling pasture that water would otherwise run right off. The spokes penetrate 4 to 6 in. deep leaving holes in the surface to catch water and fertilizer. I tried it on 35 acres of pasture last year and could really see a difference. Grass was taller and greener and it also increased my alfalfa yield.
"I got the idea after reading in FARM SHOW about a similar implement made in New Zealand that sold for about $8,000. I spent less than $100 to make my aerator.
"I tried using the hoe without cutting any tines off, but I couldn't get them to penetrate more than 2 in. deep. I used a hand grinder to cut half way through each tine, then put a pipe on the end to break it off."
Kroger says old rotary hoes can be bought cheap and work better than newer models because they don't have as many tines to cut off. Also, new hoes have sealed bearings which he feels tend to fail in dusty conditions. "My hoe has grease zerks on the ends of each shaft," notes Kroger.
Each 2-ft. long section of culvert weighs 315 lbs. so there's 1,260 lbs. of total added weight on top of the hoe.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Fred Kroger, Rt. 1, Box 39, Trumbull, Neb. 68980 (ph 402 744-2801).
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