Updated implements from Summers Manufacturing and Horsch

New vertical tillage and high-speed compact discs hit the market

Summers Manufacturing of North Dakata has introduced a new version of its Supercoulter vertical tillage tool, the Supercoulter Samurai, which it says was designed in response to customer feedback. It’s based on the same vertical tillage design but moves more dirt than the original Supercoulter. It’s designed for both spring and fall residue management, light tillage and seedbed preparation.

“We find that many of today’s farmers like the concept of true vertical tillage, but field conditions and personal preferences sometimes require something more aggressive, due to ruts, heavy residue, soil types or other factors,” said Bruce Johnson, director of innovation for Summers.

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“This trend led us to the development of the VRT Renegade variable-rate tillage tool, which provides a great option for those producers looking for the flexibility to vary the aggressiveness of their tillage. However, some producers love the simplicity and lightweight footprint of the Supercoulter and just wanted something that is consistently a little more aggressive. We filled the gap by developing the Supercoulter Samurai, which is a light tillage and residue management tool that is straightforward to operate and cost-effective.”

The Supercoulter Samurai uses a frame design similar to the original Supercoulter, but is equipped with concave disc blades that have a notched sawtooth design for more aggressive residue sizing and increased soil movement. The blades perform well in both wet soils and hard, dry conditions.

Blades are spaced 10 inches apart on each gang with the front and rear gangs offset for an effective five-inch spacing. The front gang blades are positioned at a three-degree angle, and the rear gang at five degrees, however, gang angles can be manually adjusted from one to five degrees, if desired, to achieve different field results.

Summers Manufacturing’s new Supercoulter vertical tillage tool, the Super- coulter Samurai, is based on a vertical tillage implement design, but it’s more aggressive than the original Supercoulter. photo: Summers Manufacturing

Summers says the Samurai’s light weight will help producers get in the field earlier in wet spring conditions, allowing them to speed up soil drying.

The Super-Flex hydraulic hitch and C-Shank gang mounting system improve depth control accuracy offering zero to 5.5 inches of tillage depth. The Supercoulter Samurai is also available with a variety of finishing attachments, including a harrow and rolling basket combo for seedbed preparation.

Horsch Joker RX

Another firm with its North American base in North Dakota, Germany’s Horsch, has announced it too has updated one of its tillage implements for the 2021 season. It’s added the Generation Four Joker high-speed compact disc, named the Joker RX series to its product line. It’s the latest redesign for the Joker RT that Horsch introduced to the North American market in 2008.

Along with the 20-inch concave, notched blades that were standard on previous Joker models, the new RX series offers the option to switch to “four-inch wave-width Vortex blades,” which allow the Joker RX to create horizontal soil fractures at working depths from the surface down to five inches. Switching blades is a simple process, just unbolt the five bolts that secure each individual blade to its hub.

“Shallow tillage is really divided into two segments today in North America: shallow tillage at approximately two to five inches of depth, and then ultra-shallow at less than two inches from the surface,” explains Jeremy Hughes, product manager at Horsch. “There is demand for both concave blades and wavy-coulter working action today. With Vortex, we are focusing on the vertical tillage, or ultra-shallow tillage, segment of the market. Now, you can switch blades on the same machine, making it more agile and giving farmers multiple modes of working action.”

Blade angles are set at 17 degrees on both the front and rear. The brand claims this blade engagement angle allows for a consistent, thorough horizontal fracture and uniform working horizon.

“Our experience shows that the 17-degree angle design allows for easy and precise machine tracking and producing a uniform working horizon,” says Hughes.

A new mono-mount blade arm design maintains better blade angle engagement on the RX series.

“Any time a ground-engaging implement, whether a planter, drill, or tillage tool, exceeds five miles per hour, the physics change completely, and much more attention must be given to all aspects of the design and desired working action,” says Hughes. “With the mono-mount arm, a moulded high-torque rubber compound is used along with a precision designed clamping system to steady the arm, maintain consistent blade angle, and provide a quick, precise recoil if the arm trips.”

Optional features

The Joker RX comes standard with manual depth adjustment. The optional TouchDepth feature allows operators to electronically adjust the depth of the implement via mobile app. Two new finishing systems are available: the RingFlex system, which is an evolution of the original RollFlex. It can be used in high-moisture soil conditions, and even in rocky conditions.

The second option is the OptiRoll system, which offers a different approach to the rubber rollers found on competitive units. It uses a dual compound design with a poly center sleeve and rubber rings, coupled with a perpendicular scraper system. Treaded rubber rings keep the OptiRoll rolling in soft and wet conditions.

Joker RX models are available in working widths in five-foot increments from 20 to 40 feet.

About the author

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Scott Garvey

Scott Garvey is a freelance writer and video producer. He is also the former machinery editor at Grainews.

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