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Corn Farmer Invents Ridge Shearing Device
Tinkering at home to improve performance of cropping machinery led Minnesota corn farmer Douglas Scholl, of Trimont, to invent a planter attachment that shears off the tops of last year's ridges so he can plant corn and soybeans no-till into moist soil.
The herbicide use rate is reduced because it doesn't have to work through the previous year's crop residue. Also, with the ridge system, Scholl has cut back to banding over the row, then cultivating the middles. He estimates herbicide expense savings of 30 to 40%.
The device, for which Scholl has a patent pending, is actually two sets of tandem disks that scrape the crust and crop residue off the old ridge that was built up during cultivating the previous growing season. The disks leave a level top about 14 in. wide on the old ridge and, with the residue gone, it isn't necessary to load on a lot of herbicide to get the weed-control job done, Scholl points out.
He notes that the no-till system works very well for either corn or soybeans. The ridges reach a peak height of about 8 in., when the corn is about knee high. By the following spring, the ridges have shrunk to 6 in. or so.
"The home-made disk system, one for each row, lets us plant with a regular Deere Max-Emerge planter," explains Scholl. He's uses the system on the 2,000 acres he and his father, Jim, put to corn and beans each year. The system is particularly useful on their heavy, wet soils, but it's used elsewhere, too.
A guiding mechanism helps keep the disks up on top the ridges, riding out front. "No-till is a lot better when you use ridges," says Scholl, "and this device makes ridge-planting a lot easier. The ridges dry out and warm up faster than on flat ground. We keep our machinery inventory down."
The disks are 14-in., and the two pair knock off only about 1 1/2 in. of soil. Scholl pulls a 12-row planter equipped with ridge shearers at a speed of about 5 5/8 mph, using a 150-hp tractor.
Units, currently available only for Deere planters, are priced at $450/ row.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Douglas Scholl, Rt. 1, Trimont, Minn. 56176 (ph 507 639-6002).

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1982 - Volume #6, Issue #5