Disc harrows

mcmxi

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I've used both a rear pto powered rototiller and small cultivator for the past 30 yrs on our place. We have no wind erosion to worry about and the roto tiller does most of the work in the fall to both till and reduce the garden residue and incorporate it back into the soil.

I did borrow a sub soiler once and ripped the 3 acre corn patch down about 18 to 20 inches every 3 ft. I couldn't notice any difference in the soil or yield the following years. My tractor and equipment doesn't weigh much and maybe the frost coming out of the ground each year did as much good to break up any so called hard pan?

I'll also make a pass over the ground late in the fall with the S tine cultivator and set it to run 8 to 10 inches deep or as deep as it will go if conditions are right. Then usually one or two quick passes with it in the spring with the roller baskets attached leaves a perfect seed bed in our soil for the 4 row planter.

I agree with the above posts that state a roto tiller is the most useful attachement for garden and or small food plot use. A small field cultivator for busting up the ground and finding all the hidden rocks first would also be nice and between the two would serve you well.

Here's a pic of my 5 ft cultivator modified to accept a couple of rolling baskets and extra s-tines to match their width.
View attachment 72697
So if I add rolling baskets to the rear of the disc harrow I bought, and assuming that I find a 3-bottom plow and use that first, would I end up with a finish that's akin to using a rotary tiller? Probably not as fine a finish, but good enough to use a broadcast seeder to plant clover or sunflowers? If prepping a 5 to 6 acre field for planting is the intent (currently a mix of grass and weeds), would a rotary tiller like the one @Matt Ellerbee has ordered be the best way to proceed compared to plow and disc harrow with baskets?

Finding a 3-bottom plow might be a challenge though. Lots of 1-bottom and 2-bottom models available but not many 3-bottoms thus far.

Edit: I just found the Kuhn Master 103-3 with hydraulic rollover. I bet that costs a pretty penny but one of those would be awesome on my friend's field.

 
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GreensvilleJay

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re: So if I add rolling baskets ........
YES. farmer across the road planted soybeans after doing that and they are beautiful !!!
I'd use a 2 btm plow for 5-6 acres , not that big of a field in the grand scheme of things.
 
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mcmxi

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re: So if I add rolling baskets ........
YES. farmer across the road planted soybeans after doing that and they are beautiful !!!
I'd use a 2 btm plow for 5-6 acres , not that big of a field in the grand scheme of things.
I was looking at the M6060 manual in the "Implement Limitations" section and it shows 14in. x 3 at 1,000lb for a 3-point bottom plow so that's why I thought a 3-bottom would be the way to go. Theoretically 50% faster than a 2-bottom ... right? Of course, the weight limitation would be something to look into since the 103 is at least 1,600lb.
 
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rc51stierhoff

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So if I add rolling baskets to the rear of the disc harrow I bought, and assuming that I find a 3-bottom plow and use that first, would I end up with a finish that's akin to using a rotary tiller? Probably not as fine a finish, but good enough to use a broadcast seeder to plant clover or sunflowers? If prepping a 5 to 6 acre field for planting is the intent (currently a mix of grass and weeds), would a rotary tiller like the one @Matt Ellerbee has ordered be the best way to proceed compared to plow and disc harrow with baskets?

Finding a 3-bottom plow might be a challenge though. Lots of 1-bottom and 2-bottom models available but not many 3-bottoms thus far.

Edit: I just found the Kuhn Master 103-3 with hydraulic rollover. I bet that costs a pretty penny but one of those would be awesome on my friend's field.

If you just want a cover crop and not particular, another option for something to plant would be buckwheat…after you disc you could plant buckwheat(broadcast spreader is fine) it’s a great cover crop will grow just about anywhere (tolerates dry conditions)and the pollinators and wildlife love it. You can harvest it, but for 5 acres that would be a lot without equipment. You can also till it under for a soil amendment. It’s a little late in the season for it (usually plant it at beginning of July for Ohio…not sure out your way). You really don’t need to do much of anything to prepare the soil but discoing would most certainly help.
 
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bird dogger

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So if I add rolling baskets to the rear of the disc harrow I bought, and assuming that I find a 3-bottom plow and use that first, would I end up with a finish that's akin to using a rotary tiller? Probably not as fine a finish, but good enough to use a broadcast seeder to plant clover or sunflowers? If prepping a 5 to 6 acre field for planting is the intent (currently a mix of grass and weeds), would a rotary tiller like the one @Matt Ellerbee has ordered be the best way to proceed compared to plow and disc harrow with baskets?

Finding a 3-bottom plow might be a challenge though. Lots of 1-bottom and 2-bottom models available but not many 3-bottoms thus far.

Edit: I just found the Kuhn Master 103-3 with hydraulic rollover. I bet that costs a pretty penny but one of those would be awesome on my friend's field.

The rolling baskets that I found and added to the little cultivator have done a pretty good job prepping a seed bed. But for them to work near as good as a tiller.....your soil conditions have to be right. And most everybody's ground is a little different. Soil too wet and the cultivator turns up clumps that the baskets can't break down. Same thing if its too grassy/weedy. But if you're soil conditions are right and you've got enough knives/shoes on your cultivator to bust up and loosen the soil in front of the baskets.....then it's quicker than a roto tiller. The roto tiller does a finer job and is a little more forgiving on the soil conditions. Plus you can lift the tiller when turning, back up and lower, etc. Like everything, both have their advantage and disadavantages. Nothing wrong with having both. :ROFLMAO:

If you have a good cultivator, you may not need the plow? But the cultivator and rolling baskets would certainly do a good enough job for broadcasting the grass seed you mentioned. Wouldn't hurt after seeding that way to run a drag over the area to somewhat cover the seed again.
 
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nbryan

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If you just want a cover crop and not particular, another option for something to plant would be buckwheat…after you disc you could plant buckwheat(broadcast spreader is fine) it’s a great cover crop will grow just about anywhere (tolerates dry conditions)and the pollinators and wildlife love it. You can harvest it, but for 5 acres that would be a lot without equipment. You can also till it under for a soil amendment. It’s a little late in the season for it (usually plant it at beginning of July for Ohio…not sure out your way). You really don’t need to do much of anything to prepare the soil but discoing would most certainly help.
If you use buckwheat for a green manure crop the way I did it with great results on a 15 acre field here in S Manitoba:

- Plant in warm cultivated soil in spring after danger of frost passed with a seed drill at double the seeding rate of planting for a crop.

- Partially knock down and disc in the crop when it has come into flower. The buckwheat plant nutrient levels for soil feeding at the max at that point, and its double-thick mat of fast-growing lush leafy vegetation shades and competes well with the weeds, couch grass.

- Discing partially under also releases a strong allelopathic off-gassing from the chopped and bust up buckwheat plants that further inhibits and kills weeds as it decomps. This is the main reason I chose BW as my green manure cover crop. Always battling couch grass!

- After about a week the crop had decomposed enough with partial soil burial from the disc harrowing so I completed discing it in.

- One week later I cultivated again for seeding prep as the first crop had almost disappeared into the soil, then seeded another crop of buckwheat. It's a fast-growing crop so was turning it in as green manure in July from the spring planting and had time for 2 rounds of buckwheat treatment.

Same process second round, but was about half to 2/3 as robust due to being later season. But I was very happy with the field's condition that fall.

The next spring I seeded out a mix of wheat oats and barley for meat chicken finishing feed and got a fantastic yield, and those birds were real tasty!
 

mcmxi

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If you use buckwheat for a green manure crop the way I did it with great results on a 15 acre field here in S Manitoba:

- Plant in warm cultivated soil in spring after danger of frost passed with a seed drill at double the seeding rate of planting for a crop.

- Partially knock down and disc in the crop when it has come into flower. The buckwheat plant nutrient levels for soil feeding at the max at that point, and its double-thick mat of fast-growing lush leafy vegetation shades and competes well with the weeds, couch grass.

- Discing partially under also releases a strong allelopathic off-gassing from the chopped and bust up buckwheat plants that further inhibits and kills weeds as it decomps. This is the main reason I chose BW as my green manure cover crop. Always battling couch grass!

- After about a week the crop had decomposed enough with partial soil burial from the disc harrowing so I completed discing it in.

- One week later I cultivated again for seeding prep as the first crop had almost disappeared into the soil, then seeded another crop of buckwheat. It's a fast-growing crop so was turning it in as green manure in July from the spring planting and had time for 2 rounds of buckwheat treatment.

Same process second round, but was about half to 2/3 as robust due to being later season. But I was very happy with the field's condition that fall.

The next spring I seeded out a mix of wheat oats and barley for meat chicken finishing feed and got a fantastic yield, and those birds were real tasty!
Excellent information ... thanks! (y)
 

mcmxi

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Two things I'll be looking into this coming week. Adding baskets to the disc harrow, and a three-bottom turnover plow. There's a Kuhn dealer a couple of hours away so will call tomorrow to get some idea of pricing.

I've been doing some research re plowing, and many like to plow in the fall to let the winter work its magic on the ground over the winter months. Then plow and disc in the spring after the frost is no longer a problem.
 

bird dogger

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Two things I'll be looking into this coming week. Adding baskets to the disc harrow, and a three-bottom turnover plow. There's a Kuhn dealer a couple of hours away so will call tomorrow to get some idea of pricing.

I've been doing some research re plowing, and many like to plow in the fall to let the winter work its magic on the ground over the winter months. Then plow and disc in the spring after the frost is no longer a problem.
mcmxi, with your background and fabrication skills you could custom build your own hydraulic controlled baskets to fit your new disc with a complete kit from here. Might give you some ideas at the very least. :unsure:
The adjustable down pressure on the rolling baskets would be slick!!
 

mcmxi

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mcmxi, with your background and fabrication skills you could custom build your own hydraulic controlled baskets to fit your new disc with a complete kit from here. Might give you some ideas at the very least. :unsure:
The adjustable down pressure on the rolling baskets would be slick!!
That's awesome! I'll call KS Farms tomorrow. The place below sells baskets of varying sizes and widths.

 

GreensvilleJay

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Well I KNOW my 3 btm plow don't weigh 1000 let alone 1600 pounds !!! Maybe 600 ? My back don't even like it some dayze.....depending on the soil type, you may not need weight,also once setup properly, they'll go acre after acre ,no problem. I've never had to reset my plow in 18 years and run on 3 different tractors.
Buckwheat is GREAT, it's a plant once, crops forever deal ! I didn't plow under until AFTER seeds had matured into neat looking triangle pods.....next year had LOTS of 'volunteers' and even the next couple of years. Bees loved me....
 

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If all you are doing is making food plots for the wildlife to feed on, I wouldn’t waste too much time and fuel getting it smooth. They aren’t going to care as long as your crop grows. If you are planning on harvesting crops from what you sow, then you want it smooth for a better harvesting experience. The crop will grow fine regardless how smooth it is as long as you get it in the ground and get a good germination.
 

GreensvilleJay

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Depending on the 'lay of the land', the smoother you make it, the easier it is on tractor, implements and YOUR body. while you might burn more fuel the first time, as the fields are smoothed, you'll be able to go faster, use less fuel.
 

ayak

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If you use buckwheat for a green manure crop the way I did it with great results on a 15 acre field here in S Manitoba:

- Plant in warm cultivated soil in spring after danger of frost passed with a seed drill at double the seeding rate of planting for a crop.

- Partially knock down and disc in the crop when it has come into flower. The buckwheat plant nutrient levels for soil feeding at the max at that point, and its double-thick mat of fast-growing lush leafy vegetation shades and competes well with the weeds, couch grass.

- Discing partially under also releases a strong allelopathic off-gassing from the chopped and bust up buckwheat plants that further inhibits and kills weeds as it decomps. This is the main reason I chose BW as my green manure cover crop. Always battling couch grass!

- After about a week the crop had decomposed enough with partial soil burial from the disc harrowing so I completed discing it in.

- One week later I cultivated again for seeding prep as the first crop had almost disappeared into the soil, then seeded another crop of buckwheat. It's a fast-growing crop so was turning it in as green manure in July from the spring planting and had time for 2 rounds of buckwheat treatment.

Same process second round, but was about half to 2/3 as robust due to being later season. But I was very happy with the field's condition that fall.

The next spring I seeded out a mix of wheat oats and barley for meat chicken finishing feed and got a fantastic yield, and those birds were real tasty!
I second the motion for buckwheat.
This is after 4-1/2 weeks. I’ll seed some brassicas into the standing buckwheat soon, knock the buckwheat down, and then touch up the bare spots with winter rye in late Sep/Oct.
20454748-D215-4FBA-8E05-EEB1F84AD39E.jpeg


F710359F-7883-455B-A60F-FB3C5BA9F599.jpeg
 
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mcmxi

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If all you are doing is making food plots for the wildlife to feed on, I wouldn’t waste too much time and fuel getting it smooth. They aren’t going to care as long as your crop grows. If you are planning on harvesting crops from what you sow, then you want it smooth for a better harvesting experience. The crop will grow fine regardless how smooth it is as long as you get it in the ground and get a good germination.
The objective is to avoid this .... 10 acres or so of a 4ft or taller mix of weeds, more weeds, some grass and more weeds. If we can grow something that is good for his bees, good for upland birds, good for deer, can be maintained, and that looks good to stop or reduce complaints from surrounding property owners and visits from the county weed department my friend will be very happy. If I can help him achieve this I'll be very happy! :)

mx600_dm_05.jpg
 
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mcmxi

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mcmxi, with your background and fabrication skills you could custom build your own hydraulic controlled baskets to fit your new disc with a complete kit from here. Might give you some ideas at the very least. :unsure:
The adjustable down pressure on the rolling baskets would be slick!!
I called KS Farms this morning. No answer and the mailbox is full so couldn't even leave a message. That seems to be the norm these days!

I did manage to talk to a dealer for Kuhn implements and they're only a little over an hour from me. They're going to get me price and availability on a Master 103-3 and 103-3E plow (I'm adding the hyphens there because Kuhn's nomenclature is dumb). I'm guessing with the hydraulic turnover feature it's going to be $7k to $8k. Just a guess so it'll be interesting to see what it actually is.
 

mcmxi

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Well, I got a couple of callbacks from the dealer fairly near to me and they are great at communicating. They told me that a Kuhn 3 bottom turnover plow wouldn't be available until March or April of next year. But that's not the big news. Guess how much the basic 103-3 plow with turnover and hydraulic reset costs? $28,000!!!! Holy crap! :oops:

Then the lovely woman tells me "oh, we have a used John Deere three bottom and a used John Deere four bottom turnover plow here if you're interested". I asked "how much for the three bottom" to which she replied "$1,200". I responded "You mean $12,000" to which she said "no, $1,200!" :LOL: The four bottom is newer and $4,500. Not sure if it's easy to remove one of the shares and run it as a three bottom. I should probably take my trailer down with me since I'm fairly sure that the three bottom will be coming home with me.

I'm heading there in the morning to check out both plows. She took all of three minutes to text me some photos.

Here's the three bottom.

plow1.jpg


plow3.jpg


plow5.jpg


Here's the four bottom
plow2.jpg


plow4.jpg
 

BAP

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If you are plowing sod with those, they are probably going to not plow the best. They will rip the sod and possibly plug without rolling coulters to cut the sod at a wall of the plow forrow.
 

mcmxi

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If you are plowing sod with those, they are probably going to not plow the best. They will rip the sod and possibly plug without rolling coulters to cut the sod at a wall of the plow forrow.
But I can add coulters right? I can spend thousands or tens of thousands and order the best possible set up, or spend a lot less and have to do some work to get the equipment to where I want/need it to be. $1,200 for an implement that I use two or three times a year and have fun in the process seems reasonable. No doubt there's a learning curve and things will break, but that's part of the fun.