If you ask Colby Johnson about his decision to invest in a land roller, he’ll tell you he wishes he had made the purchase sooner rather than later.
Located in Cove, Ore., Johnson is using his 3-section, 33-foot-wide TruFlex roller on almost every acre of his 3,800-acre operation, where he grows cereals for harvest, forage crops — mainly forage barley for hay — alfalfa and grass hay.
His purpose for land rolling is to improve seed-to-soil contact. After running a Great Plains Mfg. Turbo-Till vertical tillage bar in the spring to size residue and warm up the ground, he’ll land roll once or twice to firm up the soil, which he says creates a nice seedbed for him to drill into.
On some alfalfa and forage crops, he may let the crop come up before rolling it again to make a smooth, level surface for hay equipment.
It’s his alfalfa crop where he’s seen the greatest advantage to land rolling, including better seed rows and a more consistent stand. Even in established alfalfa, it’s proven beneficial in keeping the gopher mounds to a limit.
“I should’ve had a land roller years ago,” he says.