1987 - Volume #11, Issue #5, Page #29[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
One Pass Till Planter For Rocky Trashy Soil"It's a state-of-the-art tillage and planting machine that far outperforms every other machine on the market," says James Downing Jr., Trevilians, Virg., about his new one-pass "Till-Planter" that's specially designed to excell in trashy, rocky soil.
Row units on the 7-ton Till-Planter are staggered 33 in. from front to back on a double set of toolbars to make plenty of room for trash to pass through. The trailing machine rides on two big-wheeled walking beams that provide stability on uneven ground.
"The tillage components of this machine are similar to the design of Bush Hog's one-pass Ro-Till system but we found the Ro-Till ù and other similar equipment ù to be totally inadequate for our conditions. While other machines present a æwall of steel' as they move through trashy fields, this staggered design lets even the heaviest trash pass through without plugging or dragging, and the spring-loaded subsoil shanks retract from rocks," Downing told FARM SHOW, noting that he's successfully operated the machine in weeds as tall as 6 ft.
The compact Till-Planter - it measures just 15 ft. from front to back ù has an up-front spring-loaded coulter that first cuts a slot through vegetation and soil. It's followed by a chisel plow shank, used as a subsoiler with a tooth running 10 to 12 in. deep. A liquid fertilizer tube runs down the back of the subsoiler shank. Specially-built Ingersoll disc blades run on either side and slightly behind the subsoiler shank to catch dirt that flows around the subsoiler shank. The slightly concave disc blades are notched around the outer perimeter and have cut-outs in the surface of the blades. The discs mix and up and sift dirt behind the shank, piling it over the subsoil slot. A rolling basket trails behind and performs final seedbed preparation ahead of the conventional Deere Max-Emerge planting units. The chain-driven planter units are controlled by a computer-controlled hydraulic unit made by Hydraulic Control Systems, Monticello, Iowa.
"It's built very compact so that even on turns the planter units always plant directly into soil packed above the 1-ft. deep subsoil slots, making fertilizer easily available to the crop as it grows. Each row unit mounts independent of the others to easily handle rough or rocky ground," says Downing. The machine carries a 300 gal. fertilizer tank and a 55 gal. herbicide tank. Requires 40 to 50 hp. per row to operate. Downing uses a Deere 8630 to pull his 6-row prototype. He notes that a grain drill could be mounted on back in place of planter row units. Downing's 6-row machine, set up for 30-in. rows, is 20 ft. wide in the field. For transport, the two outside row units and carrying wheels fold to a width of 13 ft., 6 in.
The first prototype, built from the ground up by Downing, has been tested successfully on 230 acres. Downing hopes to find a manufacturer or investors to bring the machine to market.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, James H. Downing Jr., president, American Agri-Technologies, Inc., Rt. 3, Box 1695, Trevilians, Virg. 23093 (ph 703 967-2379 or 967-0875).
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