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Stop Cultivator Slabbing
John Ricke, Williams, Iowa, improved performance of his 16-row cultivator by slip-ping 10-in. dia. disc openers over the shanks to break up slabs that come off the shovels, and to eliminate the need for row shields.
Ricke got the idea when he converted a 12-row, 30-in. Danish tine Westgo into a 16-row, 20-in. cultivator. He plants all his corn in 20-in. rows.
"This design also lets us run through heavy corn stalk residue without plugging because there's just one shank per row," he says.
The cultivator was originally equipped with three shanks per row, and each shank had a 7-in. wide sweep. Ricke removed two of the shanks from each row unit and then slid the single shank units closer together for 20-in. spacing. He widened the sweeps on the remaining shanks by welding pieces of old sweeps onto the wings. Then he slipped a disc onto each shank with a washer above and below each disc. He also fastened a hose clamp about half way up the shank and one just below the shovel so the disc can move up and down about 6 in.
"The discs flop up and down between the two hose clamps, riding along the top of the ground. They break up slabs and `feather up' the soil at an even depth around the corn plants. Keeps the soil coming off the shovels from burying the plants," says Ricke. "The same idea could be used on the rear sweeps of regular width cultivators to keep slabs off the plants. Some of the newer "no shield" 30-in. row cultivators already have 22-in. wide sweeps with plastic discs on top. They work like my system to eliminate the need for row shields.
"We took the disc openers off an old International 500 planter. Originally we tried using plastic planter plates but found that they broke too easily. We widened the sweeps ourselves because at the time we rebuilt the cultivator, 10-in. wide sweeps weren't as easily available as they are now. We hard surfaced all the sweeps so they won't wear out as fast. We also made a circle weld around the bolt hole at the top of each sweep to keep the bolt head from wearing out too fast."
Ricke uses 12-in. wide rear tractor tires on 40 in. centers to fit between the 20-in. rows. Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, John Ricke, Rt.1, Box 145, Williams, Iowa 50271 (ph 515 854-2668).

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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #4