21 February 2020

For the maize stubble... the plough

The use of the plough is beneficial although nowadays many farms have very consolidated direct sowing and in addition many times it is the only way to be able to get to the right place at the right time. However, in some cases the ploughing of stubble is very necessary, especially in irrigated fields that have been sown with maize or sunflower. This is due to the fact that the soil becomes very hard with irrigation and the tracks of tractors, combines, pivots, etc. are very marked. We have been talking to our friend Fernando Martín (from Medina de Rioseco - Valladolid), who was ploughing the stubble of maize with his Pöttinger Servo 35 S plough and his John Deere 6190 R.

The plough is five-furrow with a distance between furrows of 1.10 m. It is a very long distance that certainly helps to have good relief, but the plough is much heavier when it is suspended. In fact, he had trouble lifting it until they adjusted the chassis of the third point of the plough to a higher position. The mouldboards are slatted mouldboards, so it relieves weight and also works very well on wet fields as it loosens the soil better and generates less traction. As for the non-stop system, it is a hydropneumatic system that can be configured from the tractor to vary the pressure and therefore the triggering aggressiveness (it normally works at around 100 bar). If you have fields without stones, a plough with fuse safety system is recommended, but if you have stones or work on very hard soil, the hydro-pneumatic system is highly recommended as it works much better than the leaf spring and is much more comfortable to adapt to soil conditions. One of the main advantages of fuse ploughs is that the first furrow is closer to the tractor, so it works much better and also that type of plough is lighter. One of the main advantages of ploughs with fuse safety system is that the first furrow is closer to the tractor, so it works much better and also that type of plough is lighter.

The plough has a memory system that allows, every time you change the headland the closing, turning and opening movements in a robotic way. The opening is done at the distance you have programmed. Normally, you would plough at a distance of 40 cm, which would mean a working width of 2 metres. You can fix it at a maximum of 2.5 meters working width but you need more power and if it is much closed you can have problems with disposal if you have a lot of waste, obviously. As it is five-furrow plough, the tractor is in a furrow, but with the mouldboards uses they make a quite big furrow and the tires don't suffer in spite of being wide tires. We think, the ideal today are the off-furrow ploughs to take advantage of, for example, the self-guiding systems but they are more recommended for ploughs of at least six-furrow.

As for the skimmers, they are not necessary because the plough flip a lot. In addition, when working with skimmers, the surface part of the soil is buried first and therefore remains largely buried. That's all very well when you want to remove of waste, grain that has been thrown away by the combine or weeds, but when you throw away manure, for example, it gets very clogged up and sometimes it's not your goal. For this last reason, Fernando has chosen to remove the skimmers.

Another feature to highlight is the depth control wheel. In this case it is a double wheel that is much better than the pendulum wheels. The double wheel doesn't suffer in the turning movements like the single pendulum wheel and it can also be put on the penultimate body and therefore doesn't hinder you to plough near a border or any obstacle you have in the field. If the wheel goes next to the last body, you have to leave distance to the obstacle and the whole plot is not used.

Finally, it is worth mentioning the following characteristics of the disc coulters. As you can see in the photos, it is equipped with two scalloped disc coulters that are fixed in front of the last furrow. This helps the last furrow has a correct working depth and therefore that the whole plough works equally. A clean disc coulter cut guarantees precise turning of the ridge and a clean furrow.

Versión en español.

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