Tillage tools come in many forms, but the new high-speed disc with AerWay tool onboard puts a bite on the field
Salford launched a new tillage frame called the Halo that can be fit with different combinations of ground engagement tools.
Two models are already available to growers. The Halo High Speed Disc (HSD) is available in five sizes from 20 to 40 feet wide, and the Halo AerWay is available in 20, 25 and 30-foot sizes now, and 35 and 40-foot machines in 2021.
The Halo AerWay is one of the most unique tillage implements to come on the market this year.
It’s built on the Halo vertical tillage-style, front-folding frame with AerWay Shattertines on the front gang, independently mounted 13-wave coulters with a rubber torsion suspension on the second gang, and Salford’s new level linkage double rolling baskets on the rear.
In 2015, Salford acquired AerWay, which has been on the market for approximately 40 years.
Kris Wright, Salford’s Tillage product manager at Salford, said AerWay has been a consistent seller into niche markets, but now that it is available in larger working widths with a small transport package, he expects it to be more attractive to larger farms.
“Typically they have tines that are spaced anywhere from either 7.5 or 10 inches, centre to centre apart, with three or four tines in a row. And as they go through the ground they will fracture the soil and open the soil, but leave the solid structure intact.”
He said the AerWay doesn’t create overly loose soil that will wash or blow away. Instead, it creates micro fractures in the soil so that air, water and crop roots can get through the hardpan, and it is much less invasive then deep-ripping.
“If you think about a deep ripper or a chisel plow, you’re basically just running something deep through the soil, completely vertical and just taking away all the soil structure. With the AerWay, if you think of a spider web and you just poke your finger in a few spots of the spider web, the spider web remains, well that’s your soil structure.
He said the AerWay was commonly used in hay and pasture, but in the mid 2000s, it started to be used in tillage applications to address things such as corn and cereal residue.
“As much as it looks like a knife or a tine, it doesn’t do any cutting of residue or corn stalks or anything like that. But what it will do is fracture them and mix them around and start the microbial breakdown that happens over winter to help decompose those,” Wright said.
The traditional AerWay didn’t have built in ballasting and instead used concrete blocks on top to help the Shattertines penetrate hard ground.
Wright said he’s heard from customers that after a few years of working in compacted ground with the implement that they could take the blocks off the frame because the hardpan layers had largely disappeared.
The Halo AerWay’s tines and blades have three gang angle settings.
The row of AerWay tines can be adjusted from 2.5, five and 7.5 degrees, while the wave blades can be adjusted completely vertical, to forwarded or negative, 1.5 or three degrees.
“The tine for the AerWay has a lean and a twist to it. What the lean and the twist are going to do for you, is as it’s going through the ground it hits with the impact as it rotates through its revolution, and the lean and the twist are what forces the soil laterally causing the micro fractures,” Wright said.
Salford had a 40-foot Halo HSD being demonstrated in Wadena, Sask., this fall and Wright said it was being run at 12 to 14 mph.
It takes about 12-14 horsepower per foot to pull the Halo AerWay.
It takes a little more horsepower to pull Salford’s new Halo HSD.
“It is a new tillage platform for us,” Wright said.
“It is your conventional high-speed disc. One row of concave blades pointed one way, the second row of concave blades pointed the other, and then your finishing roller.”
He said the Hale HSD uses existing compact disc blade mount designs with the ability to run the hydraulics under pressure to reduce field hopping and increase its field leveling performance
To help the machine leave a nice level field finish Salford uses a set of hydraulic single point depth controls for the lift frame and roller depth settings. It uses independently mounted 22″ blades with a rubber torsion suspension, and a heavy-duty 23-inch cage roller.
“We’re rating the high-speed disc at anywhere between 12 to 18 h.p. per foot, depending on the depth you’re operating at, and if you want to run it at the higher end of the speed spectrum or lower end of the speed spectrum,” Wright said.
The new Halo offerings use sealed bearing with a five-bolt pattern for the discs.
“The product version coming out for 2021 is a machined cast hub. This is one we have designed and tested in-house,” Wright said.
“It’s a rebuildable hub and it is a greaseless system, so there is no maintenance on these other than if you were to rebuild them yourself.”
The list price for the Halo HSD ranges from mid $90,000 for a 20-foot machine, up to just under $170,000 for a 40-foot implement.
The Halo AerWay will cost just under $105,000 for a 20-foot machine up to the mid-$150,000 range for a 40-foot implement.
Salford wouldn’t comment on any of the other tillage tools that will be released on the Halo platform, but Wright said the company is working on proving the ability to apply seed, or granular fertilizer and herbicide with the Halos.