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New-Style Rotary Cultivator For Row Crops
"We're getting a lot of interest from midwest corn, soybean and sugarbeet growers," says Joe Lindeman, president of Northwest Equipment Company, Yakima, Wa. The company's new rotary weeder, first introduced in the Pacific Northwest, is catching on with "row crop" farmers throughout the United States.
As shown in the photos, 18 in. long spring-loaded tines serve as "fingers" to pull weeds, incorporate chemicals, prepare seedbeds or to "mulch in" heavy cover crops and residues. There are two rows of teeth, with one row turning clockwise at 540 rpm (1000 rpm on larger models), and the other turning at the same speed but in the opposite direction. This counter rotation allows the tines or "fingers" to work on all sides of the plant to take out virtually all closegrowing weeds. Counter rotation of the teeth, coupled with forward motion of the tractor, creates a diamond pattern on the soil surface, leaving it smooth and without ridges. The teeth dig into the ground 1 to 2 in., depending on size of the crop, and size and density of the weed growth being removed. Travel speed is generally in the 31/a to 5 mph range. The new-style rotary requires relatively little horsepower and isn't bothered by rocks.
"Here in the Northwest, owners use it in a number of ways," explains Lindeman. "Some row crop farmers mount a toolbar cultivator on the front of their tractor and the rotary behind to cultivate and to close-up weeding in one trip. Soybean growers use it to cultivate and incorporate herbicides in a once-over operation. Others use it to prepare seedbeds and for mulching in heavy cover crops and crop residues. It's probably the best tool on the market for incorporating chemical weed or insect killers because of the accurate depth control that can be maintained. Some owners use the machine both before and after their row crops emerge."
Six models offered by Northwest Equipment range in size from 60 to 260 in. wide. Retail cost of the largest model (260 in.) is right at $6,000. It's equipped with 5 ft. wings on each end and covers 12 22-in. sugar beet rows per swath. All models are designed for 3 pt. hitch mounting.
For more details, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Northwest Equipment Company, Box 10473, Yakima, Wa. 98903 (ph 509-457-4108).

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1978 - Volume #2, Issue #4