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PTO Powered Moldboard Plow
British researchers who want to get an extra tillage boost from moldboard plows have come up with a new pto-powered plow -equipped with 2-ft. dia. horizontally-mounted spinning discs designed to break up slabs of heavy soil.
Richard Cope, ag engineer at the National Institute of Agricultural Engineering, says the new plow was designed to get a better mix of surface residue with topsoil and to break up heavy, clay-type soils. "The pto-powered discs spin at about 150 rpm's, breaking up slabs of soil as they're lifted off the ground. It breaks up the soil so the field looks like it's been harrowed," he says.
At first the researchers tried to fit the new powered plow with finger wheels rather than flat discs but they worked the soil over more than necessary and required too much power. The powered flat discs slice through soil and residue so dirt falls back to the ground in chunks. Cope says breaking up the plow slabs helps mix up heavy straw and stalk residue which is important since British farmers are facing ever stricter regulations on burning straw off fields.
The powered moldboard requires about 25% more power than conventional plows. Cope hopes to license the technology to a commercial manufacturer and speculates that the innovation may cost as much as $500 more per row.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Richard Cope, AFRC Institute of Engineering Research, Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedford, MK454HS England (ph 0525 60000).

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1988 - Volume #12, Issue #5