Subsoiling, done the Czech way

Terraland helps farmers maximize their subsoil disruption by using triple angle chisel teeth tips and sharp blades

LANGHAM, Sask. — It’s been a while since prairie farmers have seen a new subsoiler, which explains why Bednar brought its brand new Terraland chisel plough to the Ag In Motion show this past summer.

Terraland’s role is to disrupt layers of compressed soil, Bednar’s Juraj Skolka said while standing next to the bright yellow, Czech-built cultivator. The vicious triple angle chisel teeth tips on the shanks at front along with the shark fin sharp blades on the rollers at back tell you at a glance that Terraland takes it’s role seriously. It is a disrupter.

The chisels have three working angles. Compressed soil as deep as 20 inches is disrupted by the main point, while side blades mix soil at the top with crop residue.

“This subsoiler machine can go quite deep, up to 20 inches,” Skolka said.

“Spacing between the shanks is 12 inches. This machine is 18 and a half feet wide with 11 hydraulically suspended shanks. The suspension is loaded (pressurized) through the tractor and then the hydraulic circuit can be disconnected and managed by the accumulators.

“When the cylinders are loaded (pressurized) and hit the rocks, the impact is absorbed by the accumulator. The points are always hard-surfaced because we sometimes work in abrasive soil and virgin soil. Today we have on the skinny 40 millimetre chisels. We also have wider 70 mm chisels to bring the clay up. Once you have opened the soil with the shank and everything is separated, the subsoil can be very rough. You can bring up many big hard pieces. So the teeth on the two cylinders are double wound, facing opposite directions, so the clods are broken.

“The teeth are welded on the rollers and they are very hard. If you are subsoiling in the dry season, the teeth make small drainage spots in the soil for rain to get into the soil. Also, the teeth are very close together so you penetrate everything. The machine is designed to work at five to 10 km-h. I wouldn’t go much faster because the fuel consumption will go up terrifically.”

Bednar agronomists say severe deep compaction has resulted from the use heavier equipment and no cultivation or continued cultivation at the same depth. This leaves farmers with only a few inches of topsoil in which to grow their crops. Bednar’s answer is to break up the plow basin that prevents air, water, nutrients and roots from getting into the lower layers.

Bednar says breaking up the compaction allows the mineralization process to proceed so oxygen, moisture, nutrients and roots have a much deeper playing field. This in turn leads to rejuvenation of the photomaps in the vegetation. The Terraland is also suitable for one-pass application of manure and commercial fertilizer. Skolka said the 18.5 foot machine on display at AIM would require 550 horsepower or more to meet expectations.

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