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"Best Buy" Land Rollers Save Time And Money
Land rollers do lots more than bury rocks and flatten gopher mounds, says Jay Bargman, who uses his big Mandako roller to keep dirt out of his bean head and to speed harvest. Corn growers he knows use them ahead of planters to improve accuracy and emergence. Still others use them instead of stalk choppers, running them ahead of rippers.
"I bought mine after a terrible harvest where the bean head kept pushing dirt through the combine," recalls Bargman. "Not only did I have to stop twice a round to clean dirt off the head, but I knew it was really hurting the combine. I know that harvest shortened its life."
A friend said he wasn't having any trouble. "He had rolled his fields that spring," says Bargman. "I decided it was worth a try."
Bargman bought a Mandako Agri land roller and was so impressed with the results the following year that he became a dealer. He now has 6 seasons of rolling his bean fields behind him, and he wouldn't think of stopping.
"I roll all my soybeans every year," he says. "It is just as important as spraying and planting. I have to roll them."
Bargman says 90 percent of the farmers he knows hit the field right after planting the soybeans. While one of the selling points is improved soil to seed contact, Bargman says a yield benefit is hard to prove. However, he does see more uniform plant emergence. He also notes that with level fields, he can cut closer to the ground, picking up a higher percentage of low hanging pods.
"It's hard to put a number to it, but you gain a pod here or there," he says.
The big benefit for him comes in the fall with reduced combine maintenance and faster harvesting time. "It turns harvesting soybeans with a platform head into an easy job," says Bargman. "As far as rocks or dirt knocking out sections or breaking guards, it just doesn't happen. Since I started rolling the fields, I haven't had to replace a guard or sickle section during the season."
Bargman also appreciates fewer problems with rocks. While his fields aren't particularly rocky, before rolling the fields, he did have to dump a few rocks out of his rock guard a couple times a day. He no longer has to dump it or even worry about rocks going through the combine.
"Just not putting a rock through the combine is more than worth rolling the field," he says.
The one thing his roller doesn't do is compact his fields. "That was a myth back when land rolling first appeared," says Bargman. "It has no affect on compaction."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jay Bargman, 5579 430th St., West Bend, Iowa 50597 (ph 515 887-5579).

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2010 - Volume #34, Issue #3