With so many growers in Western Canada having made the transition to no-till production a decade or more ago, some might find it surprising that the number of new tillage implements and once-unfamiliar brands has proliferated in recent years. But a variety of factors now have many looking at incorporating “strategic tillage” into their operations.
Bill Larsen, director of sales and marketing at Australia-based K-Line Agriculture, says those factors were the force behind the development of his company’s Speedtiller implement. And they’re the reason it has seen acceptance from farmers both at home and on this continent.
“We’re selling a lot to farmers who for years now have been doing minimum till or zero till,” he says. “And they’re finding due to disease, chemical resistant weeds, or high residue issues, they’re falling back on strategic tillage, a one-pass tillage solution. And that’s really where this tiller has done really well.”
The Speedtiller is a high-speed disc implement that is not only capable of ripping into sod on hayfields, it can also be used to bury trash and leave a finished field surface ready for seeding.
“It takes the place of a tandem, offset disc and a vertical finishing tool all in one,” he adds. “It’s a dual-purpose tool.”
That means the Speedtiller relies on a very heavy frame, and the rubber torsion components on the independently mounted discs provide for a high breakout force. The Speedtiller is available with 22-, 24- and 26-inch diameter discs.
“The disc angle is not adjustable, but the disc tracking is,” Larsen says. “In primary tillage we find you have to be able to adjust the front and back row individually and move them sideways so the discs stay inline.”
Speedtillers are available in working widths from 15 to 41 feet and are designed to work best at nine m.p.h. in the field. The company also builds three-point hitch mounted versions as small as eight feet.
Some machines have been part of Flaman Rentals’ rental fleet over the past year, and Larsen says the decision to release them to the western Canadian market this year is a result of them having proved themselves under Prairie conditions that way. The company also showed them to growers last season at demonstration events like the Ag in Motion farm show. But February marked their official launch to the Canadian market.
“It’s the first official launch, he says. “But we’re here and we’ve proved ourselves in Canada and the U.S.”
The Speedtiller will be back at the Ag in Motion show, and the other western Canadian farm shows this season. But the company isn’t stopping there. It plans to bring a number of its Trashcutter tillage machines to Western Canada this summer and field test them to gauge growers’ reactions to their performance.
“We have a new product that is coming over this summer. We’re going to run it and get the feedback. Then I think we’ll be launching it probably in the fall. It’s called the Trashcutter. It’s a bit of a unique product and I think it will have a spot in the marketplace.