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"Reaper" Strip-Till Unit Built To Handle Heavy Trash
“My partner and I used other strip-till units and had problems with trash causing plugging and soil berms that weren’t to our liking,” says Lyn Rosenboom. “Two years ago we built our own system with a free-floating row cleaner made with two large 22-in. sawtooth blades and called it the Reaper. Those large, slow moving coulters remove virtually all the trash in front of the shank and don’t throw it over into the next row. Fertilizer is placed into clean soil and the zone behind the unit is perfectly tilled.”
  Rosenboom and his partner, Steve Peterson, started Niffty Ag. to build and market the new equipment. The Reaper has a rack and pinion system designed into the shank for easy adjustability and a knife assembly that can be adjusted back and forth for additional clearance. Row units are mounted on a high clearance frame suitable for 6 to 24 rows.
  “This system grew out of a need to handle high trash situations that occur because of higher corn populations and corn hybrids that produce larger stalks and leafier plants,” Rosenboom says. “Even though there are a bunch of strip till manufacturers out there already, we think this design offers the performance and workability in extremely tough conditions where other designs fall short.”
  The Reaper has a forward facing shank that follows multiple straight running coulters to fracture the soil in a very defined zone. The shank runs between two additional saw-tooth blades that churn the soil while keeping it flowing past the shank. They move trash out and allow positive fertilizer placement through an integrated tube running down the face of the shank. There’s a long-wearing knife at the base of the shank. Firming wheels behind the shank can be adjusted to build a porous soil berm or create a flattened strip of soil.
  “From experience we know this design works in any trash situation,” Rosenboom says. “It’s set up to handle anhydrous, liquid or dry fertilizer and place it at the bottom of the deep tillage zone.” A rigid and adjustable closing wheel prevents NH3 from blowing out, which is another benefit. Hydraulics create down pressure or lift pressure, depending on the tillage situation. If a row unit encounters rocks, a spring reset toggle trips the shank and protects it from damage.
  “Depth adjustments allow farmers to use the Reaper for deep fall tillage and fertilizer application or shallow spring tillage prior to planting. Row units mount on 7 by 7-in. tillage bars and sell for $5,000 to $5,500 each, depending on setup. Niffty offers 12, 16 and 24-row tool bars on tires or tracks. The 12-row frame on tandem 55 tires starts at $35,500. The 24-row on 36-in. tracks sells for $98,500.
  “We’ll fit the Reaper to any size and any type of bar,” Rosenboom says. “We’ve found these row units pull easier than others on the market, so a high horsepower tractor can actually pull a 24-row machine with Reaper row units.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Lyn Rosenboom, Niffty Ag., Clifton, Ill. (ph 815 694-3141; lyn@nifftyag.com; www.nifftyag.com).

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #6