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A vertical tillage system requires producers to maintain uniform density in the soil profile. Vertical finish tools prevent the creation of additional compaction layers in the soil, especially after less-than-ideal planting or harvest seasons. A good vertical finish tool will establish an ideal seedbed to allow precision seed placement by the planter.
Producers should consider several factors when selecting a vertical finish tool:
• Erodibility of the soil
• Fall tillage program
• Residue breakdown
• Crops grown
• Crop rotation
Turbo-Max is the ideal vertical tillage tool for min-tillers who want to size and anchor residue without aggressively working the ground in the fall. Running 3° to 6° gang angles in the fall will anchor leaves and light residue to the ground as the soil comes off the angled blades. This reduces movement of residue in windy conditions.
Running the gang angle on 0° (straight) in the spring will achieve a seedbed that is smooth on top and 1½" to 2" deep for excellent seed placement and uniform emergence.
Turbo-Till is a good match for no-till producers who want to leave all residue on the surface.
It is also a good match for producers who do a lot of “heavy” tillage in the fall. For growers who run a sub-soiler, chisel, or Turbo-Chisel in the fall, Turbo-Till will provide a great vertical seedbed in the spring, generally with one pass.
In areas where it is harder to break down residue before the next crop, it is good practice to run Turbo-Till in the fall, then run “stale seedbed” or make a second pass in the spring. In areas where residue breaks down rapidly, it may be better to leave the field “as-is” in the fall and make one pass in the spring.
The Turbo-Chopper has become a favorite among corn-on-corn growers, who often like to do as much tillage as possible depending on how erodible their soils are. Many corn-on-corn growers are doing “heavy” fall tillage to bury a high percentage of residue and remove as many root balls as possible.
One Turbo-Chopper pass in the spring will provide a vertically-finished seedbed that is “table-level” on top and 1½" to 2" deep. This allows the planter to precisely place each seed for uniform emergence and maximum ear count. Working residue in two directions is a big plus for corn-on-corn.
The only “downside” to Turbo-Chopper is the fact that it does not like mud and is less forgiving in rocks.