High speed tilling does a better job and easier on the cultivator frame than chugging along in a lower gear
Lemken will soon debut a new high-speed hybrid cultivator, but first it is introducing a new share that figures to be an important design component of the new cultivator.
The DeltaCut KG 35 configuration enables extra-shallow cultivation at a working depth of five centimeters (two inches). It’s a good fit for the Karat 9, which is comfortable in shallow applications.
The Karat 9 intensive cultivator already has eight share designs and working depths of two to 12 inches. It has a wide range of uses from shallow stubble cultivation to primary tillage.
With row spacing of about 11 inches, the 14-inch-wide DeltaCut continues to till across the full working width, even after extended use.
Shallow cultivation across the full working width is especially useful when incorporating winter catch crops in the spring or a first pass in stubble cultivation. The shares reliably undercut winter catch crops and prevent water from leaving the soil. Incorporating residue at a shallow depth during stubble cultivation encourages weed seeds and volunteer crops to germinate.
DeltaCut shares will expand the range of Karat 9 uses, says Mark van Deursen, the Lemken rep for Western Canada. Van Deursen said the new hybrid cultivator will be called the Koralin 9 and be available in Western Canada in about a year.
“In Europe they cannot desiccate crops anymore. Same with the organic farmers here. We’ll see an end to desiccation,” said van Deursen.
“So there’s a whole new purpose for cultivation along with a whole new generation of soil-engaging tools developing right now. Guys want to work shallow. That’s why Lemken came up with this DeltaCut share. It’s like a flat knife or a sweep, but you can run super shallow and level.
“Normally, you have the point running a little bit deeper by a quarter-inch or maybe a half-inch. So you never get a perfectly level cut. But with the DeltaCut, it gives a perfectly level cut from left to right, across the whole machine, at a depth of two inches or even a little bit shallower. The tip is level with the blade. All you want to do is cut the root systems of weeds or harvested crops.”
Van Deursen points out that soil engaging tools from Lemken have earned a good reputation for longevity, even in the most abusive soils. Lemken said its carbide-coated tools deliver a service life that’s up to five times longer. The new DeltaCut shares are available with the same carbide coating for abrasive soil.
“The steel itself is a big part of our quality reputation. The engineers design a smaller machine with more horsepower so you can pull it faster. That’s better than under-powered. If the tractor doesn’t have the recommended power, then it pulls slow, and that’s bad for the frame.
“At high speed, there’s less stress on the frame. We like to see about eight m.p.h. If you can’t do that, you should have a smaller Karat. So you should study the horsepower recommendations before you buy.”
The Karat 9 and the new Koralin 9 share the same standard quick-change system with rapid, tool-free conversion between tools. All in-ground tools use this system, including the DeltaCut shares.
Van Deursen said it takes a little while for producers to see the benefits of high-speed, shallow cultivation. As farmers learn to deal with factors such as regenerative agriculture and reductions in their reliance on chemicals, European-style cultivation technology is becoming more prevalent in Western Canada.
“In southern Alberta we sold 10 Karat 9 machines this fall. There were already a half dozen or more running around down there. There’s more popping up in the Red Deer area.
“It’s really starting to pick up now. Where there’s a hardpan issue, everyone had been disking all the time. Between about five to seven inches, there’s this hardpan guys can’t get rid of. So they want to do deep cultivation and rip up the hardpan. With our spikes, you can go down to 12 inches.
“The other use is manure incorporation from dairy farms. It’s a lot cheaper for them to run a tine than to run a disk. Less maintenance is a big factor. We have five different spikes, with different width sizes. Plus four different wing type shares. You can get a point with a wing. Of course we have hard face and carbine tips available.”
He said potato growers are also finding the Karat 9 to be a useful tool. They pre-hill their fields with a big shank. They like the top six inches of the hills to be well mixed after taking off the previous grain crop. They find now they can go in with their wings at six inches and the mix is really good and the lumps break down really well.