Case: match tillage tools to soil type

The tillage tip you try in sandy loam and the tip you try in grey clay: they aren’t the same ones


Case has embarked on a quest to better match new soil and residue management implements to suit specific soil types.

Does that mean a growing selection of tillage tools? Yes. This fall they introduced a new S-tine field cultivator and a new configuration high speed Speed-Tiller, as part of the company’s initiative in matching tillage tools to regional soil types, according to tillage marketing manager Chris Lursen in a phone interview.

  • The Vibra-Tine 265 S-tine is a new field cultivator designed to work in high-clay and timber soils to create a high-efficiency seed bed.
  • Stabilizer wheel position adjustments can be made right from the tractor cab on machines equipped with AFS Soil Command agronomic control technology.
  • A 27-foot Speed-Tiller high-speed disc has been added, providing more options to fit each field layout and size.

Lursen said Case soil management tools attempt to promote a healthy soil profile, create field conditions necessary for better yields, optimize residue management, foster ideal soil tilth with a smooth field surface and consistent seed bed floor.

“No two fields are the same. More options and configurations, along with new technology and new capabilities, mean farmers can equip themselves with the tools needed to create a high-efficiency seedbed,” said Lursen.

Vibra-Tine S-tine field cultivator

The Vibra-Tine 265 S-tine field cultivator is designed to take on tough high-clay and timber soils found in areas such as Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Kentucky and Ontario. With one pass in the spring, the Vibra-Tine delivers optimal clod-sizing and smooth field finish.

The Vibra-Tine 265 S-tine field cultivator is designed to take on tough high-clay and timber soils found in geographic areas such as Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Kentucky, Ontario and heavy clay soils on the prairies. With one pass in the spring, the Vibra-Tine delivers optimal clod-sizing and smooth field finish. | CaseIH photo

“We know the 255 is our shank for the main group of farmers. But there’s areas of the continent with clay-based soils, that have a greater need for sizing clods,” said Lursen.

“You want the clods as small as possible, because once you create a new clod in those wetter clay soils, they’re hard to get rid of. The S-tine isn’t new. It’s been around for years. We’ve just improved on it.”

Some people think the S-tine isn’t aggressive enough or violent enough to break up the big clods.

Lursen responds, “That’s true in some soil types, the harder soils at the northern edge. That’s why we have the C-shank and the Tigermate 255. They’re more suited to the northern edge of the Red River Valley in Manitoba.”

Case says S‑tine technology is proven to break through residue and shatter hardened soil. The new cultivator has six ranks of S-tines and four-inch shank spacing to provide optimal clod-sizing in tough conditions. The 24-inch frame clearance allows for maximum residue flow without plugging. Single-point hydraulic depth control provides quick adjustments to accommodate changing field conditions. S-tine shank options include the standard two-piece coil or a heavy-duty two-piece coil that delivers more holding power and more ground clearance.

Stabilizer wheel control — Starting in the spring, producers can adjust their stabilizer wheels from the tractor cab, but only if they have AFS Soil Command agronomic control technology. The new stabilizer wheel control feature is also available on the Tiger-Mate 255 field cultivator and single-fold True-Tandem disc harrows and vertical tillage tools.

When the operator adjusts the depth of the ground engaging tools, all other functions of the machine coordinate to the desired settings, including stabilizer wheels, fore/aft levelling and clod crumbler basket downforce. | CaseIH photo

“Most of our machines with wings have stabilizer wheels, especially the ones that go shallow, like only two or three inches of depth. Wings always have a tendency to bounce, so another rolling point of soil contact, like a stabilizer wheel, helps mitigate that bounce.

“But stabilizer wheels have to be adjusted to match your working depth. Go one inch deeper in the ground with the tools and the stabilizer wheel should come up one inch. But we found that very few people took the time to adjust the stabilizer wheel. Just another piece they had to stop and look after. Another hassle.

“That’s why we added stabilizer wheel adjustment remote from the cab for machines equipped with AFS Soil Command agronomic control technology. In order to do a better job agronomically, we brought all those controls into the cab. Agronomic performance is the whole reason we have adjustments, so let’s make them easy for the operator to use.”

Case says the stabilizer wheel position must be co-ordinated with any depth adjustment to ensure machine stability and a smooth seed bed. When the operator adjusts the depth of the ground-engaging tools, all other functions of the machine co-ordinate to the desired settings. That co-ordination includes fore/aft levelling, clod crumbler basket downforce and now the stabilizer wheels. It’s not an easy task, says Lursen.

“Every machine has a controller. If an operator makes a depth adjustment, the display and controller make calculations on what else has to accompany the depth change.

“The solenoid that controls the hydraulics at the stabilizing wheels sends a message to open or close appropriately. There are codes built into the system to make all these things happen automatically they way you want them. It lets the operator concentrate on the main task at hand.”

Speed-Tiller high-speed disc — To provide additional options and configurations, a 27-foot unit is now available for the Speed-Tiller 475 high-speed disc. A recent addition to the Case IH lineup of agronomic solutions, the Speed-Tiller high-speed disc is a dual-season tool designed to ensure a smooth surface and seedbed floor.

Case says its Speed-Tiller is the only agronomically correct high-speed disc on the market.

“We came out with the Speed-Tiller last year and now we’re adding a 27-foot unit as a better fit for farmers matching implement and field sizes.

“There are a number of high speed disc tillers on the market now. We’ve learned that they’re fast and they seem to get a lot done, but the question is how much soil do they actually move, or even touch?

“With every tool we tested, when you carefully wipe away the top one, two, three or four inches, they only move soil where the blade contacts. They don’t leave any sort of full-worked profile. The layer where the seed will rest is rough and compacted. Agronomically, we know this is not good for the seed.”

Lursen says the compound disc angle on many high-speed disc tillers causes soil compaction just below the disk depth. It’s a very hard sub-surface, which impedes root development.

“On the Speed-Tiller, we index the blades and install them in the right position from the front gang to the rear gang to minimize compaction. That gives a fully worked profile at any depth we select with very little compaction.

“We tested a lot of other high-speed disc tillers. No other tiller we tested could do that.”

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