FALL HARROWING. No-till ground can be worked in the fall to get volunteer crop and weed seeds growing so they can be â??frozen offâ?? during the winter months.

Harrowing Experiences!

Here’s what the experts say about fluffing, turning, mixing, scratching, leveling, shattering, warming and aerating no-till residues.

Besides more effectivley managing residue, aerators and rotary harrows are allowing some no-tillers to stretch the spring planting window to boost yields.

At last winter’s 11th annual National No-Tillage Conference in Indianapolis, representatives from three manufacturers addressed questions such as when to use a rotary harrow, how fast to pull it and how much horsepower it takes. Their insights will shed more light on this equipment that some no-tillers are finding can make a big difference with yields at harvest time.


Bert Sutherland, director of marketing for Phillips Rotary Harrow in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, says no-tillers often need a tool to deal with heavy residue that can “sit there like a big wet mat, holding cold into the ground.” He believes residue problems have kept no-till from becoming more widely used and may also be part of the reason some farmers have given up on no-tilling.

Fluff And Turn

The advantage of a rotary harrow is being able to fluff and turn no-till residue, mixing it with soil and loosening it up so that the air can get through it to dry the soil for no-tilling.

“You couldn’t use a typical harrow because it drags and bunches. It’s different with a rotary harrow because it is fluffing and turning,” says Sutherland.

Once the no-till residue is fluffed, air can enter the material to more quickly dry and warm the soil. Sutherland figures that will let you no-till 1 to 3 days earlier, which can have a significant effect…

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