Crop producers’ focus is always yield. Better varieties for better yield. Better nutrient management for better yield. Better soil management for better yield. Better weed control for better yield… you get the picture. Managing these variables is a full-time job for farmers, and there is never enough time to do everything possible to improve yields.
Having an implement that can provide both better soil management and better weed control is a definite value-add for farmers, and that is exactly what the K-Line Ag Speedtiller®
K-Line Ag’s Speedtiller® was designed and built in Australia to combat the unique conditions of Australian soils and to address the needs of the Australian farmer. However, this farmer-centric design mentality has translated very well overseas too, and the company now produces implements for the US, Canadian and European markets.
The success of the Speedtiller® comes from its ability to improve soil humus levels, reduce erosion, and combat chemical resistant weeds in a single pass utilizing a single implement. Farmers have long understood that chopping plant residues (stems, stalks, roots, etc) left in the paddock post-harvest and then incorporating them into the soil provides important soil benefits. With incorporated residues, the organic matter percentage within the soil profile increases. This brings with it a better environment for beneficial soil microbes, enhanced ability for soils to absorb and retain water, and increased bioavailability of micronutrients from residues as they decompose and re-enter the soil as compost.
The inclusion of residues in the soil also guards against erosion. It creates pathways for surface water to penetrate more deeply into the soil profile, and by acting as a sponge, absorbs water into the residue materials for soil use during drier periods. Because residue-incorporated soils have a more varied surface texture, they resist the effects of surface water and wind erosion. This supports soil component retention and fosters long-term soil health.
The Speedtiller® accomplishes residue incorporation by utilizing a two-part system – first chopping the residues into manageable pieces and shifting the dirt with an offset disc, and then mixing the dirt and residues together into a finished paddock surface, leaving the seedbed ready for planting. This two-step approach provides the residue incorporation farmers need to reap the benefits of better crop health and higher yields.
The Speedtiller’s dual purpose discing and finishing capabilities have added benefits as well. Producers can use this single implement to do the work of two or even three other implements. The savings in soil compaction, operator time, and fuel expenditures make a sizeable impact on production and operational costs.
The Speedtiller® also plays an important role in weed control for farmers by providing a mechanical means of weed disruption and diminishing the possibility of promoting chemical resistance in their local weed populations. Unlike chemical applications of herbicides, mechanical processes like tillage implements do not mutate the molecular structure of the weeds, which causes chemical-resistance. Instead, mechanical processes disrupt the weeds’ growing cycle. This dehydrates or stunts the weeds, while allowing production crops time to overcome and eventually kill competitive weeds.
Because it’s designed with an appreciation for the variability of Australian soils and cropping types, the Speedtiller® is customisable for applications from vineyard cultivation to oilseed and cereal production. Trailing and 3-point linkage versions are available. Finishing rollers can be selected based on soil type: hollow crumbling rollers for loamier soils and spring rollers for stickier, clay-type soils. These unique configurations allow producers to utilize the correct mechanical design to realize the greatest benefits in residue and soil management for increased yields.
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