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Speed Disc/Speed Tiller/High Speed Disc - What's the skinny on them?


Mountain Heritage

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So the age old issue each fall for us... "What the heck do we do with these corn stalks!"

What are you guys doing in the fall for tillage to burry the corn trash?  I know EVERYONE does it different, understandable, but I'm looking to see different ideas and how successful you are with it.  Every region is different, soil is totally different, winters are different too.  Here in Eastern Ontario, we get or at least tend to get as of lately, wet falls, snow on and off, cold then hot and back to cold.  We don't seem to get a traditional fall and progression into winter anymore.  Needless to say our soil can be dry and rock hard or it can be slippery and sticky, so tillage can be tricky some years, especially if you're looking to get a decent, level finish.

Nine times outta ten, we chop the stalks with a pull behind #50 chopper to help speed up that decaying process.  We have moldboard plows, and do use them when needed.  Do we like using them, no not really.  We have tried using our regular discs on the fields, and we are really not getting the nice incorporation we want.  It seems if we don't have at least some "black" showing in the fields, it takes a lot longer than we want in the spring to dry them up.  I guess we are looking for about 50% of the trash to be on top for winter.  Tried chisel plowing, that is just a waste of fuel and creates a huge mess to deal with later, so that isn't happening again!

What are these new fancy Speed Discs all about?  The horsepower required for them is mind boggling to me in a way, but I guess when you're doing the suggested 10-15mph across a field (which I really don't think I have a field I could do that speed across in a tractor) I guess you're moving a lot of dirt!?  The smaller 3pth models, usually 8 to 11 feet wide it seems, are they any good?  Does anyone have one?  Likes, dislikes, regrets?  In my mind, I would rather a pull behind model, would think would be easier to pull than a 3pth model, but doesn't seem like they make one that narrow in a pull type?  Are these 3pth models giving the results you should get out of the machine?  Are they actually covering up trash as they should?

Price aside as of now - only because its crazy what some of them are worth - which makes it very hard to justify.  Especially if you'd only use it in the fall for tillage - unless you guys find they work just as well in Spring to make a proper seed bed?  

Disc cultivator Softer NS - Farmet

Looks like the 3m size is what a 120hp tractor would handle?  I'm assuming it would need to be weighted in front end too?

 

Speed-Tiller 465 High-Speed Disk | Case IH

The CIH site is confusing as I can't seem to do the "build" scenario correctly to show the actual disc (3pth version) so not sure???

465 cih speed tiller - Bing images

This is the style I was referring to - to be comparable to the Farmet model above.

 

Any information, personal experiences, neighbors who have and you watch over the fence each fall..... would be appreciated.

Edited by Mountain Heritage
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We have used a 330 VT and now a 335 VT since 2010 but parked it for fall four years ago because the corn residue gets moved in a strong wind, depositing it and the inherent potash in the road ditch or someone else's property. Since we run stalk stompers on the corn head the stalks are bent over to start and we're going to run a biological product rather than the tillage pass to enhance stalk degradation. That along with the cereal rye has become the fall program and depending on the results there will be an evaluation of the need for the expensive VT machine on the property.

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1 hour ago, jass1660 said:

This is a 25’ landoll vertical tillage tool pulled at 8 mph in December last year about two weeks after harvest. Ran it again in the spring and then beans there this year. 

IMG_8901.jpeg

Do you find the VT leaves ridges that are not broken up under the surface?

Watched a comparison video on YouTube between Kuhn and Salford showing how the Kuhn left undisturbed ground under yhe surface that was rock hard almost.   Didnt seem like a great thing?

Do you find there us enough ground showing to dry out soil in spring,  or do you find you are having to wait longer than you want?

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Save your money. As far as I am concerned all the fufu disks are just a marketing platform for manufacturers to sell more tillage equipment. High speed disks are very popular here but after they have run for a couple years the problems are starting to show up. Compaction is the big one. These tools are meant to run about 2" deep at 10-12 mph, they are a concave blade on angled gangs. Guess where that compaction layer is, right at seed depth. 

I think if you are bound and determined to do fall tillage a VT tool with straight coulters like a Salford would be a better option. Or just use a good disk with 9" spacing. Your conditions are the same as ours, cold wet falls. Anything you do on wet ground is going to make compaction. My feeling is you either have to do full scale tillage with a plow or disk ripper or put row cleaners on your planter and just no-till and save yourself a lot of money. Not sure what your rotation is but corn/beans/corn is very doable with no till. 

The big fad was VT 10 years ago and everyone bought Turbotills or some variation and used them like disks and were not happy with them. Now they are all parked in the weeds or traded for a true disk or a high speed disk. Now the speed disk problems are starting to show up.

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Seems like those high speed disc’s really need a lot of power to make it work right. Considering tractors are designed to work in the 5-8 mph range not 12-15 range. That’s why those tools need such big horses. Figure about 1/2 more HP for same size conventional disc

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1 hour ago, Mountain Heritage said:

Do you find the VT leaves ridges that are not broken up under the surface?

Watched a comparison video on YouTube between Kuhn and Salford showing how the Kuhn left undisturbed ground under yhe surface that was rock hard almost.   Didnt seem like a great thing?

Do you find there us enough ground showing to dry out soil in spring,  or do you find you are having to wait longer than you want?

The landoll is more like a true disk he also has a 330 vt and only run it in the spring, personally I don’t care for the 330 the landoll will get 4” deep. 

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2 hours ago, ChrisNY said:

Save your money. As far as I am concerned all the fufu disks are just a marketing platform for manufacturers to sell more tillage equipment. High speed disks are very popular here but after they have run for a couple years the problems are starting to show up. Compaction is the big one. These tools are meant to run about 2" deep at 10-12 mph, they are a concave blade on angled gangs. Guess where that compaction layer is, right at seed depth. 

I think if you are bound and determined to do fall tillage a VT tool with straight coulters like a Salford would be a better option. Or just use a good disk with 9" spacing. Your conditions are the same as ours, cold wet falls. Anything you do on wet ground is going to make compaction. My feeling is you either have to do full scale tillage with a plow or disk ripper or put row cleaners on your planter and just no-till and save yourself a lot of money. Not sure what your rotation is but corn/beans/corn is very doable with no till. 

The big fad was VT 10 years ago and everyone bought Turbotills or some variation and used them like disks and were not happy with them. Now they are all parked in the weeds or traded for a true disk or a high speed disk. Now the speed disk problems are starting to show up.

I am seriously debating either a set of sunflower discs, like a 1212-15 model, nice size that covers the width of tractor just nice and doesn't require a huge tractor to pull.  Or the other option is to replace the 495 with some notched  discs that would hold an edge, don't cheap out on quality????

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We currently moldboard plow corn stalks and chisel plow the bean ground. I've been wondering how it would work if we replaced the moldboard plow with a high speed disc how that would go. You'd be breaking up that hard layer from the disc every other year. That's if I can find one that a 2wd 5488 will pull effectively. 

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Neighbors have a Great Plains high speed disk, he did some irrigated corn stalks twice a couple years ago and we had a wind storm come through,  the road ditch had 2 feet of trash in it. They had to rake and bale what the fence caught inside the field. This is an 18 footer and he says it's all his Jd 8310 can pull in the hills.

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7 minutes ago, bkorth said:

Neighbors have a Great Plains high speed disk, he did some irrigated corn stalks twice a couple years ago and we had a wind storm come through,  the road ditch had 2 feet of trash in it. They had to rake and bale what the fence caught inside the field. This is an 18 footer and he says it's all his Jd 8310 can pull in the hills.

In my area the original claim was that residue breaks down faster if you chop it up. It was determined that the only reason the fields had less trash was because it either washed off or blew away. I have seen a couple of disasters just like you describe. I applied some custom anhydrous for someone who had a huge trash drift in their fence. It was so deep I had to go around it. They were attempting to burn it, but could not get it done by the time I got the rest of the field done. I don’t know what they ended up doing. It was 50’ wide down the entire east fence of the property. 

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You said you tried a chisel plow and it was a mess, what exactly happened? Did it plug constantly or was it too muddy???

Here where we have hills a disc is a terrible idea, never fails we get a rain in Jan and the top 3-4" that the disc moved all washes down the hill, washout stops right at disc depth. 

Corn residue management starts at the corn head on the combine, you want the residue as small as possible right off the head. My thought is instead of spending big money on tillage equipment to bury corn,  I'll spend good money on a good corn head first.

Here in the heavy clay and cold falls it's very important to size corn residue at the corn head. then wait for the residue to dry a few days in the sun and then get after it with the Glenco chisel plow.  Oddly the best chiseling jobs I've ever done were after a dusting of snow, realy seams to bury trash good with the snow mixed in.

 

VideoCapture_20231114-204826.jpg

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10 hours ago, brahamfireman said:

You said you tried a chisel plow and it was a mess, what exactly happened? Did it plug constantly or was it too muddy???

Here where we have hills a disc is a terrible idea, never fails we get a rain in Jan and the top 3-4" that the disc moved all washes down the hill, washout stops right at disc depth. 

Corn residue management starts at the corn head on the combine, you want the residue as small as possible right off the head. My thought is instead of spending big money on tillage equipment to bury corn,  I'll spend good money on a good corn head first.

Here in the heavy clay and cold falls it's very important to size corn residue at the corn head. then wait for the residue to dry a few days in the sun and then get after it with the Glenco chisel plow.  Oddly the best chiseling jobs I've ever done were after a dusting of snow, realy seams to bury trash good with the snow mixed in.

 

VideoCapture_20231114-204826.jpg

Chisel plow just collected stalks and left in clumps randomly.   Tried different chisel spacing as well as ground  speed.  Maybe because of us using chopper on it first, just too fluffy.  Even waited until after rains in hopes of making stalks sticky or packed down again to the ground, nope.  Now with your Glenco, you'd have the straight disks up front, that may be bonus, we only have the shanks, no discs.

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I would go with a good disk/chisel. I think that would solve your problems. 
You will be hard pressed to find a high speed disk compatible with a 2wd 5288. A neighbor has a small 3pt maybe 12-13’ and pulls it with a MX 240 MFWD and it is all it wants. Those disk require speed minimum of 8mph but better is 10-12+. That takes hp

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Our Deere combine has a Drago chopping head that works fantastic and leaves nice even cover when done.

We have a DMI Coulter Champ 2. Straight coulters up front 5 chisel and 4 parabolic out back. Works good in corn chaff and gives fair amount of cover. However, brush the cover aside and it really does nothing more than cut 9 grooves. Leaves a lot of untilled land. Chaff still tends to blow off into fence rows. Did a test following corn with soybeans. Moldboard plowed, chisel plowed, minimum tilled, and no-tilled all in the same field. Same seed and fertilizer planted the same day. Best yield was moldboard and deep tilled. The closest yield was still moldboard and normal till at 8 bu/acre less and yield went down from there. Worst was no-till. Dad was all for no-till just for fuel savings. He also likes to work shallow at speed to "toss up the surface". It does look like it's worked to finer soil but only to seed depth. At $13/bu I can pay for the fuel to work it deep and complete .We plant beans in 7 inch rows. The softer/deeper the soil is worked the higher the yield. Bean roots will go down 8 inches plus. The harder the soil, the less nodules the roots make and absorb less nutrients. If they hit heavy soil at 5 inches down they stunt root growth at that point. That test pretty much convinced Pa on deep till but he still prefers chisel plow because of time savings. Even though it's more time consuming, for me it's moldboard. From what we've tried, it's proven in yield.

Did the same test in two fields with corn following hay this year. Same result. Cobs are 1-1/2 inches longer on average on the deep tilled moldboard land.  Just takes time. I'll spend my time plowing on the tractor listening to the radio. Dad's in a hurry to get back to the house to watch the country channel...

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40 minutes ago, Dzldenny said:

Our Deere combine has a Drago chopping head that works fantastic and leaves nice even cover when done.

We have a DMI Coulter Champ 2. Straight coulters up front 5 chisel and 4 parabolic out back. Works good in corn chaff and gives fair amount of cover. However, brush the cover aside and it really does nothing more than cut 9 grooves. Leaves a lot of untilled land. Chaff still tends to blow off into fence rows. Did a test following corn with soybeans. Moldboard plowed, chisel plowed, minimum tilled, and no-tilled all in the same field. Same seed and fertilizer planted the same day. Best yield was moldboard and deep tilled. The closest yield was still moldboard and normal till at 8 bu/acre less and yield went down from there. Worst was no-till. Dad was all for no-till just for fuel savings. He also likes to work shallow at speed to "toss up the surface". It does look like it's worked to finer soil but only to seed depth. At $13/bu I can pay for the fuel to work it deep and complete .We plant beans in 7 inch rows. The softer/deeper the soil is worked the higher the yield. Bean roots will go down 8 inches plus. The harder the soil, the less nodules the roots make and absorb less nutrients. If they hit heavy soil at 5 inches down they stunt root growth at that point. That test pretty much convinced Pa on deep till but he still prefers chisel plow because of time savings. Even though it's more time consuming, for me it's moldboard. From what we've tried, it's proven in yield.

Did the same test in two fields with corn following hay this year. Same result. Cobs are 1-1/2 inches longer on average on the deep tilled moldboard land.  Just takes time. I'll spend my time plowing on the tractor listening to the radio. Dad's in a hurry to get back to the house to watch the country channel...

Nice!  That is good info.  Thank you.

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4 hours ago, ChrisNY said:

I would go with a good disk/chisel. I think that would solve your problems. 
You will be hard pressed to find a high speed disk compatible with a 2wd 5288. A neighbor has a small 3pt maybe 12-13’ and pulls it with a MX 240 MFWD and it is all it wants. Those disk require speed minimum of 8mph but better is 10-12+. That takes hp

Clarification please....

Disc chisel, you're talking like the Glenco unit posted above or a White 445 unit that has the row of straight discs in the front and then twisted shovels on HD shanks in the rear - correct?

Or you suggesting something like these:

Sunflower 4411-05 Disc Ripper BigIron Auctions - but in proportion to the tractor being used of course.

 

Dumb question...

On stalks that have been chopped with head or chopper - best way to work them is with the rows (or what used to be a row) or cross ways/diagonal?

Any difference with NON chopped stalks for the direction of travel.

I'm talking from stand point of what people have found where it plugs the least and stalks flow through best and don't bunch up.  I'm assuming with rows or slight angle, but going to ask anyways.

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.... Oh, brain is working over time now!

Soil Saver - Glenco is the same thing as a disc chisel, just a fancier marketing job?

glencoe soil saver - Search Images (bing.com)

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We had or rather still have a White 445. Used it for years. The DMI does a way better job of covering with less clogs. It also stays in the ground better. The 445 had a tendency to hop out on hard hilltops or when traveling too fast.

As far as direction... I've seen no difference as far as clogs. Only thing I can say (it may be OCD) going with the rows will leave random rows of stalks completely unturned and/or uncovered. Cross or diagonal will just leave random stalks. Probably same amount just not in the oh-so-obvious row. Proof that chisel is not complete tillage. 

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Do you have a cattle operation near you that would be interested in using the stalks for feed and bedding?  If you could bale them off and trade them for manure it would make your life easier.  Of course not everyone has that option. 

Edited by ihrondiesel
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Old school / old equipment....

Double disk with Kewanee disk....first diagonal, then straight.  4.5-5 mph......keep it sharp for 250 bu stalks.

Chisel plow on angle with old DMI Chizl-Champ 13 shank, straight points 9-10" deep.

1486 handles it all just fine.  Yes it's 3 trips and not time efficient (we farm small).  Fuel for 3 trips is cheaper than buying more hp and fancier equipment. 

Leaves about 50% on top, well stirred, not ridged too bad.

All flat ground, heavy black Central IL top soil.

In spring you can go straight into it with late 80s vintage field cultivator. (Open frame spacing).

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