As you prepare for your planting season, consider transitioning to vertical tillage as opposed to the conventional, horizontal method. But be forewarned: vertical tillage is a system that takes a lot of time and attention in order to implement the process appropriately to your farm, but can also deliver unique advantages. Utilizing the vertical system means managing your entire soil profile – understanding the profile, compaction issues, ensuring that each pass is done properly according to the system and providing an adequate seedbed for the planter pass.
By shattering soil shank-to-shank, you'll achieve better water infiltration and drainage, effective nutrient usage, higher drought tolerance and uniform growth and pollination.
Soil density determines root diameter and vertical tillage tools remove the layers of varied density created by horizontal tillage and resets the profile by breaking them up and establishing an equal balance of air space and soil below the surface. This allows roots to grow deeper and faster, which increases plant health and yields. Horizontal tillage makes roots grow sideways if confronted with a dense layer. Additionally, due to its residue management efficiency, vertical tillage also fits well into existing no-till operations.
A good vertical finish tool will create an ideal seedbed to grant precision placement. Ensure that you have the proper horsepower to run the vertical tool because if it is not at the adequate speed, its benefits will be lessened. They are designed to operate at about 8 to 10 miles per hour at about 10 HP per foot.
Consider these factors when selecting a vertical finish tool:
- Soil erodibility
- Residue breakdown
- Autumn and spring tillage processes
- Weather conditions
- Crop growth and rotation
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