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Strategic Tillage

The Strategic Use of Tillage

At LEMKEN we pride ourselves on our knowledge ofthe science and evolution of tillage. Since plough maker Wilhemus Lemken founded the company over 230 years ago, we have seen the agronomic practice of tillagemove from conventional, primary tillage in the 1940's and 1950's, to zero and minimal tillage in the 1970's. We know that today, farmers have many reasons to strategically in corporate tillage into their farm management as they deal with problems they would never have thought offifty years ago.

Farmers around the world are partnering with experts who offer a variety of tools to help them plan, grow, harvest, and market their crops and remain globally competitive. LEMKEN is proud to offer innovative tillage machines with specific agronomic uses to suit the individual needs of farmers in any soil type, conditions and farming system. We don't believe that using a plough, disc, or cultivator because that is an established agronomic practice, or part of the accepted "culture" of farming is the most effective and efficient way to look at tillage. We encourage farmers to critically assess the agronomic needs of their farm and use the right tools to do the job. We know that will often include the strategicuse of tillage based on what each farmer wants to achieve.

In organic farming, we need good tillage strategies. Mechanical weed control is another very important success factor. We have to bury crop residue and cover crops before preparing a uniform seedbed. The SOLITAIR’s precise seeding with 5 inch row spacing is much better for weed control than 7.5 inches row spacing offered by the competition. When it came time to choose our tillage and seeding equipment we liked what LEMKEN offered. LEMKEN designs its machinery according to specific applications. My KRISTALL cultivator and SOLITAIR seed drill are superb strategic assets, and LEMKEN is a valuable strategic ally.

Rémi Ouellet
…is the co-owner of Ferme Domaine du Parc and farms 890 acres of cereals, soybeans and vegetables near SainteÉlisabeth, Que.

Strategic tillage may target compaction, smooth out rutsin the field, break up pastures, or reclaim land aroundsloughs. Strategic tillage can mechanically kill weeds, disrupt disease and pest cycles, deal with herbicide resistant weeds, or encourage weed seeds to germinate before a pre-season herbicide application to make it more effective. Other strategic tillage practices improvesoil structure and water infiltration, or incorporate organicmatter - such as crop residue or livestock manure - into the soil to make the best use of the nutrients it contains.

Whatever the need or desired outcome, LEMKEN can provide farmers with the strategic tillage machine they need to do the job effectively and efficiently in a single pass.

LEMKEN in Canada

Eleven years ago, LEMKEN and our Canadian distributors brought its innovative, one-pass tillage machines to Canada. Since then, we have developed an extensive dealer network which stocks original LEMKEN parts. LEMKEN dealers receive intensive, on going product training so they can provide outstanding service and technical support to their customers.

LEMKEN also has two fully-stocked parts warehouses inCanada to ensure that its Canadian customers, dealers and distributors always have fast, easy access to parts and service. LEMKEN has listened to Canadian farmers from coast to coast. We have developed new products and adapted our product range to meet their strategic tillage needs.

Heliodor 9

Farmers can work more acres per hour with the lightweight HELIODOR 9 compact disc harrow, which is available in working widths up to 52 feet, and can travel up to 12 mph, saving time and fuel. Farmers also have the option to attach a SOLITAIR precision air drill to some HELIODOR 9 models to prepare the seedbed and seed in one pass, cutting seeding time in half.

The HELIODOR 9's 20-inch, concave discs are perfect for shallow spring cultivation in light to medium soils, fall stubble cultivation, preparation for seeding winter cereals, preparing a seedbed in spring on heavy ploughed land, or for reworking areas around sloughs, previously wet areas in a field, or removing sprayer ruts after a wet season.

The intensive disc action of the HELIODOR 9:

  • provides superior soil crumbling and mixing to ensure consistent soil density and quality.
  • disturbs very little soil while allowing oxygen and water to penetrate for strong root development and healthy plant growth.
  • incorporates crop residue and creates a smooth, seed-ready seedbed in one pass.

Working from shallower depths of one to four inches, the HELIODOR 9:

  • warms soil surface for faster, earlier germination and frost protection.
  • repacks soil with a choice of packing rollers to seal in moisture, prevent erosion and prepare a perfect seedbed.
  • paired with the SOLITAIR seeder, provides maximum soil to seed contact, and ensures moisture is accessible to the seed for better emergence and higher yields.
  • encourages germination of weeds, and volunteers in fall to be winterkilled.
  • requires less horsepower to pull and saves on fuel. 

Quote Rémi Ouellet

The mixing action of the HELIODOR incorporates residue evenly into the top two inches of soil, and creates an excellent seedbed. Instead of notilling our wheat, now we do one shallow pass with the HELIODOR prior to seeding. The seed to soil contact gives us nice, even emergence and great crops. We also have a RUBIN 9 compact disc which we used to work up a six year old alfalfa field one fall. We planted corn the following spring after just one pass with the HELIODOR, and it looked fantastic.

Ken Schaus
…finishes cattle and farms 2400 acres of corn, soy and wheat at Schaus Land and Cattle Co. near Elmwood, Ont..



Rubin 9

Residue management and perfect seedbed preparation with a singlepass are major reasons why a growing number of Canadian farmershave turned to the RUBIN 9 compact disc harrow. The RUBIN 9's24-inch, serrated discs effortlessly incorporate any type of crop residueor livestock manure. Packing rollers follow the discs and repack the soilto seal in moisture, prevent soil erosion from wind, and create a firm,seed-ready seedbed in any type of soil. One-pass tillage and seedbedpreparation saves time, fuel, and manpower.

On the soil surface, the RUBIN 9's intensive disc action: 

  • breaks up clods of dirt and thoroughly incorporates organicmatter into the soil to cycle nutrients faster.
  • buries trash reducing the risk of fungal diseases or pests persistingin crop residue.
  • combines with two sets of rebound harrows for superiorcrumbling and mixing of the soil for consistent soil texture.
  • mechanically controls weeds on organic farms or managesherbicide resistant weeds in conventional farming systems.
  • warms up cold spring soils for faster germination and frostprotection.

Beneath the soil, its variable working depths from two to six inches:

  • provides consistent soil density allowing plant roots to easilyaccess nutrients and water.
  • breaks up hardpan which impedes plant root development.
  • helps prevent soil compaction by performing multiple operationsin a single pass.

Quote Chris Raupers

We had fields with foxtail barley that we couldn’t control with herbicides and the RUBIN 9 gave us 95 per cent control of the weed problem the first time we used it. We have switched our whole farm from zero-till to Strategic Tillage because we are seeing soil health benefits. The superior mixing action of the RUBIN 9 aerates, mulches residue, and returns organic matter to the soil, and that’s giving us more uniform, productive stands, even in problem soil areas, and during wet years.

Chris Raupers
…farms 7,000 acres of grain land at Newdale, Man.

Rubin 12

The RUBIN 12's aggressive disc action:

The RUBIN 12 compact disc harrow was designed to handle largevolumes of crop residue from the highest yielding corn crops inNorth America. The RUBIN 12's 29-inch, concave discs work deeperto incorporate heavy residue and create a smooth seedbed that'sready to go with a single pass.

The RUBIN 12 can do many of the tough tillage jobs where farmershave traditionally used disc-rippers or disc-chisels, and reduce theamount of passes required in the field. The RUBIN 12's serrateddiscs are angled to cut deep and break up compacted soils,without bringing subsoil or stones to the surface.

The RUBIN 12’s aggressive disc action:

  • easily breaks up pastures or unproductive land.
  • incorporates organic matter deep to hasten decompositionand nutrient release into the soil.
  • intensively mixes soil to ensure excellent soil to organic mattercontact for faster, even decomposition.
  • alleviates soil compaction for higher crop yields.

Working at depths from three to eight inches, the RUBIN 12:

  • warms cold, spring soils for earlier emergence.
  • saves fuel, time and manpower with a one-pass operation.
  • offers a choice of heavier packing rollers to repack soil for aseed-ready finish.
  • provides better seeding efficiency due to consistent, highquality seedbed preparation.

Quote Luke Weirtzema

The LEMKEN RUBIN 12 allows me to work my cornstalks in one pass in the fall. With my previous tillage tool it took two passes and the job was still not as good as with one pass with the LEMKEN. There were less clods and residue to deal with this spring allowing me to do one light seedbed preparation pass and then plant this year’s crop. The cost of the RUBIN 12 compared to other tillagetools is reasonable and I am very happy with the performance and cost savings due to the elimination of a pass across the field.

Luke Weirtzema
…grows 1400 acres of corn, soybeans and sugar beets near Campbell, Minn.

Karat 9 & Kristall 9

The KARAT multi-purpose cultivator gives farmers many options to tillat different depths depending on the job they need to do. Its strategicuses include light to heavy stubble cultivation, repairing soil structure,controlling weeds and volunteers, and incorporating manure. Farmerscan also choose the lighter, KRISTALL compact cultivator which alsooffers intensive soil mixing and optimal soil preparation.

The KARAT replaces the chisel or mouldboard plough for many fall andspring field operations, which the KARAT can achieve with a single passto save on fuel and manpower. The KARAT prepares a perfect seedbed,firming and levelling the soil with packing rollers to prevent soil erosion,seal in moisture, and ensure strong root development. Potato growerstell us they have noticed more intense germination, and bigger potatotops resulting in higher yields when they have used the KARAT on theirfields.

The agronomic benefits the KARAT cultivator provides include:

  • variable working depths from two to 14 inches.
  • greater soil to seed contact for earlier and even crop emergence.
  • aggressive action which incorporates and thoroughly mixes organicmatter into soil to speed up decomposition and release nutrientsfor crops to use.

Quote Dennis MacNevin

We used to do a lot of mouldboard ploughing but with our climate and conditions we struggled with soil erosion. With the KARAT we can work deep, and incorporate straw throughout the soil, and its packing rollers provide a smooth, finished field that prevents erosion from wind and holds the snow better. In the spring we use the KARAT to prepare the soil for planting potatoes, and for lighter cultivation with other crops. It allows us to do more strategic tillage on our farm than other machines do.

Dennis MacNevin
…is the Farm Manager at G W & R Visser Farms, which grows 3,000 acres of crops including potatoes, cereals and soybeans at Vernon, P.E.I.

quick-change tine shapes

The KARAT offers seven different, quick-change tine shapes that can be changed without tools to save farmers time and effort, and produce superior results with less power requirement in any soil type or situation.