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One Of The Best No-Till Systems We've Seen
One of the best no-till systems we've seen the Ro-Till concept is now being manufactured and marketed by Bush Hog. The "one pass" tillage tool lets you plant directly in undisturbed stubble, straw, stalks or sod without having to buy a new planter or drill.
Leo Hardin, Alabama corn farmer who, along with his brother Jerrill developed the Ro-Till concept about 10 years ago, has joined Bush Hog to head up marketing of the Ro-Till machine which the Hardins have been marketing in southern states under the name of Brown-Hardin.
Brown Mfg., of Ozark, Ala., the original manufacturer, will continue to manufacture and market Ro-Till units in a few selected areas. Manufacturing and marketing for the Corn Belt will be handled by Bush Hog, according to Hardin, who describes Ro-Till as "under the row tillage in a no-till environment.
"Used in combination with your existing pull-type or 3-pt. planter, or your grain drill, it lets you plant corn, soybeans or other row crops directly into extremely heavy crop residue without any prior tillage whatsoever. It's also the only system that creates an ideal, deep-tilled seedbed for every row, leaving the middles undisturbed."
The tillage tool is equipped with a subsoiler for each row which runs up to 18 in. deep but is usually operated at only 7 to 11 in. deep. "You only need to subsoil an inch below the depth you formerly operated your moldboard or chisel plow," Hardin points out.
A spring-loaded, notched coulter in front of each subsoiler cuts through heavy trash and crop residue to prevent it from dragging on the subsoiler shank. There's also a pair of twin coulters on each side of the subsoiler for each row. Each pair of coulters on a side are different diameters and each has its own axle, allowing the coulters to independently rotate at different speeds. "This difference in turning speed, which prevents plugging, is a key, patented feature of the Ro-Till," Hardin points out.
One of the side coulters nearest the subsoiler shank is large (22 in. dia.) and waffled. It fills any voids in the subsoiler slot with fresh, loose dirt. Another key feature is that, by turning or angling all coulters towards the row, a planting ridge or bed up to 10 in. high can be formed. Width of the tilled row bands can be from 26 to 34 in.
Bush Hog is offering the Ro-Till in two to eight rows, with row spacings adjustable from 30 to 40 in. The machine mounts on the tractor 3-pt. and is available with a pull hitch for pulling a conventional pull-typeplanter (or grain drill) behind, or a lift hitch for use of the Ro-Till with conventional 3-pt. planters or drills.
"If you like to fall till, you can go into undisturbed stubble or stalks with the Ro-Till to subsoil the row bands and, if desired, build up ridges (using special concave coulters). The following spring, you can go in and plant directly on the ridges without using the Ro-Till. Or, you can use the Ro-Till in conjunction with your planter to dress up the fall-made ridges, if desired, as you plant," Hardin notes.
The power requirement of the Ro-Till is right at 30 hp. per row. A 4-row rig will sell for right at $5,300, not including the pull hitch or optional rolling baskets which trail behind each subsoiler to break up clods and firm the seedbed.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bush Hog, Box 1039, Selma, Ala. (ph 205 872-6261).


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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #2