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Digging into High-Speed Tillage

Digging into High-Speed Tillage

Short tillage seasons have caused growers to search for a more productive way of performing spring and fall soil management. In some areas, high-speed compact disks are increasing in popularity due to their high productivity capabilities. High-speed disks not only are highly productive but also can leave a nice-looking finish; but with this tool, there is more happening below the soil surface than meets the eye. Case IH agronomists hit the field to test a variety of high-speed disks, and here are a few of their findings.

Through multi-season field tests, Case IH agronomists conducted side-by-side trials to evaluate how each tillage tool performed both above and below the soil surface. Observations were made in five key areas: residue coverage, residue sizing, levelness, clod sizing and seedbed floor. At the surface, each tool leaves an improved finish — but below the soil surface is where things get interesting. These tools leave a much wider variation in the agronomic quality of the seedbed.

Below the surface

When you push the top 2 to 3 inches of the soil surface aside, a planter-ready seedbed floor should be smooth and firmed, but not compacted.

In field tests, competitive disks proved to only work some of the soil, while Speed-Tiller™ high-speed disk worked the entire soil profile.

Ridges created by competitive units are formed by backside blade pressure that results in unwanted surface compaction. Ridges are sometimes so pronounced that growers can feel the ridges with their feet. Imagine what the planter encounters when traveling across the field!

During planting, ridges and notched blade impressions can cause the planter to bounce and contribute to inconsistent, uneven seed placement — which can have a big impact on yield.

After emergence happens, producers may see roots going sideways at a 90-degree angle in response to this hard, smeared soil layer, making it extremely difficult for crops to take advantage of nutrients and water.

Short tillage seasons have caused growers to search for a more productive way of performing spring and fall soil management

On the contrary, the independently mounted, indexed blades on the Speed-Tiller high-speed disk work the entire soil profile, resulting in a much smoother floor. The Speed-Tiller design overcomes what other high-speed disks can’t: an uneven and grooved seedbed floor.


Across both cornstalks and soybean stubble, the Speed-Tiller high-speed disk created consistently level field finishes.
Competitive units, equipped with solid rubber rolling wheels, essentially squish or push down clods to make the soil surface appear level, instead of breaking them up.
The Tiger-Paw™ Crumbler® rolling reel action seen on the Speed-Tiller high-speed disk is key to creating a consistent levelness and ideal field finish.

Residue sizing and coverage

The 22- or 24-inch blades available on the Case IH Speed-Tiller high-speed disk are positioned with a reduced amount of backside blade pressure, so the blade edge can effectively penetrate and cut residue, all while minimizing harmful seedbed compaction.

Agronomists found that with competitive units, the blades do not work together to uproot and dislodge roots and weeds. With the Speed-Tiller high-speed disk, the indexed blades work the entire soil profile, helping to dislodge rootballs and weeds.
Some competitive units did not cut through cornstalks, but rather laid the stalks down and covered them with soil. This can restrict root infiltration and hurt plant growth.


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