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Americanized Multivator Meets Growing Specialty and Organic Grower Needs
A long established specialty crop tiller is finding new uses and new users as row crop farmers look for alternatives to corn and soybeans. The Multivator from Marysville, Ohio-based Mitchell Equipment can be used to work up planting beds, cultivate between rows, or to incorporate mulch and fertilizer.
When company representatives first saw the Multivator at an Italian farm equipment show 20 years ago, they liked the design but knew it wouldn't last in U.S. fields.
  "Our strawberry growers were looking for a tool they could use to renovate beds," says Chris Ford, president. "It does that well and a lot more, but we needed to ŠAmericanize' it. We strengthened the frame and other key components to handle the bigger, higher hp tractors common in this country."
  With falling commodity prices, the heavy duty tiller has proven to be just the ticket for farmers considering alternatives to traditional crops and cultural methods. "Row crop farmers who are thinking about trying a value added crop are a key growth area for us," says Ford. "And organic growers are looking for equipment like this as an alternative to herbicide based weed control."
  The Multivator consists of individual tillage heads mounted to a toolbar with just two bolts so they can be easily adjusted to match various row or bed configurations. A hexagonal bar drives all heads from a single gearbox. Each head floats independently over uneven ground with down pressure adjusted to match varying soil conditions.
  Frame height is maintained by two adjustable guide wheels. The entire unit mounts on a tractor with either a Cat. 1 or 2 3-pt. hitch and is driven by a 540 rpm pto shaft.
  The Multivator is available in multiple configurations with frame widths ranging from 66 to 158 in. (or greater by special order). Individual tiller head widths can vary from 7 to 10 in. on the smallest head to 28 to 32 in. on the largest unit.
  Tillage heads consist of individual blade units with shielding that can be added or removed to adjust tillage width. This feature is especially valuable as the season progresses and inter-row space shrinks with plant growth.
  Ground clearance also varies by unit from 16 in. under the drive shaft on the smaller units to 32 in. on larger units operated on high clearance tractors. Optional equipment includes fertilizer hoppers, ridger assemblies and steering guides. Prices range from several thousand to $15,000 or more with customization.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mitchell Eqpt., 10784 Industrial Parkway, Marysville, Ohio 43040 (ph 614 873-4620).

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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #1