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"Twin Fins" Improve Cultivator Performance
Ken Tatarliov says he achieved his goal of better weed control on his organic farm by designing twin cultivator fins that do a better job of slicing through weeds.
  After six years of product development and testing, Tatarliov has patented the twin fin design and put it on the market.
  He says the idea is equally useful on any sweep, whether it be 11-in. air seeder sweeps or 16-in. bolt-on deep tillage shovels.
  The fins themselves are 4 1/2 in. tall, welded to the sweep at an angle. They're made from soft, flat steel bar (836/44w) that's 2 in. wide and 1/4 in. thick.
  "Our design kills more weeds per pass and saves us time, fuel, equipment wear, and money," he explains. "Throughout our testing period we observed that our fins consistently demonstrated a weed kill as close to 100 percent as what we believe is mechanically possible."
  Tatarliov says the fins keep tap-rooted weeds from slipping around the outer edge of the shovel blades, cutting them off. Although the fins are only 1/4 in. thick, the plant material they collect increases their width to about one inch, thus increasing the soil disturbance and controlling more shallow-rooted weeds as well.
  Since he operates a certified organic farm, Tatarliov relies solely on tillage for his weed control. His invention has allowed him to improve his weed kill success, as well as limit the number of passes.
  "Since perfecting the fins, we've been able to omit our second round of summerfallow work, and we no longer need to pre-work most of our spring seeding acres. Any pre-work we do is spot control on small areas of weed flush."
  Since the high-carbon hard steel shovel does most of the work (the already loosened soil simply falls away from the shank and into the fins), there's very little wear on the soft material, plus Tatarliov wanted the fins to be able to bend rather than break if they hit a stone. It's simple to straighten them with a pipe wrench while refueling, he says. During an entire season, he may need to straighten only one or two fins.
  Tatarliov's company, Bema Industries, sells the twin cultivator fins by modifying new McKay shovels (parallel wing design only). The 16-in. wide, 1/4-in thick tillage sweeps done up with fins, are currently priced at $19.23 (Can.) each, which is only about $3 more than standard sweeps. Bema Industries also sells twin fin-fitted Nichol shovels for the same price.
  All fins are guaranteed for the life of the shovel. This means they will stay affixed, and not wear out before the sweep.
  Over the 2003-2004 season, the inventor says it cost him $77.50 (Can.) more than standard shovels to outfit his own 31-ft. cultivator, and he got two seasons' use out of them.
  "We save about $1,700 in fuel because of the reduced passes, and that doesn't include our time, improved weed control and lower wear and tear on the machine," he adds.
  Shipping is charged FOB Bema's plant, other than U.S. orders where, in this case, the freight costs begin from Plentywood, Montana.
  There's a video on the company's website of the modified shovels at work.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bema Industries, Ken Tatarliov, P.O. Box 69, Minton, Sask., Canada, SOC 1T0 (ph 306 969-2275 (evenings); ken @ bema industries.com; www. bema industries. com).


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2007 - Volume #31, Issue #3