The Tillage Master is a multi-function tillage implement that can be altered to function as a Dammer Diker®, a ripper, a chisel plow, a bed splitter, a lister/mark-out bar, or a drill master. This unique tool bar design utilizing high-lift, hydraulic reset shanks gives trouble free inter-row ripping and diking in the most severe rocky conditions. The Tillage Master is easily converted to a number of tillage chores with the following options:
- Retractable reset shanks can be added for bed splitting
- A cage roller can replace the spiders for rolling beds or field finishing.
- Tillage choppers can replace the spiders or rollers can chop and mulch crop residue into the surface.
First introduced to potato farmers in Eastern Washington, the Dammer Diker® and Tillage Master have gradually changed the way many crops are managed. Originated in Washington State, the Tillage Master has become the tool of choice for many farmers across the United States and Canada, as well as in several countries around the world. Imagine using just one machine for all your Tillage work, rather than Ripping, then Disking, then plowing, then Tilling, Marking, Bedding, and whatever else.
The Tillage Master combines two rows of shanks, so the ground is ripped deep, removing compaction from the previous harvest, and then hilled in one pass. Behind the shanks, you can attach spiders for diking, mesh rollers for bedding, or choppers for seed bed preparation. This innovative combination, along with the optional hilling wings, rod weeder, markers, etc., allows fewer passes through the field. Using the Tillage Master will make your farm more profitable.
Seed bed preparation in Fall or Spring consists of breaking up the previous crop residue and mixing it into the soil, so it will decompose more rapidly. Behind grain crops, where the residue has been removed or is sparse, the bedding operation can often be done in the standing stubble. Ag Engineering’s Tillage Chopper attaches to the Tillage Master frame and successfully mulches and finishes the soil. The Tillage Chopper can be sold with the Tillage Master, as a complete Ripper-Tillage unit, or alone, as an add-on.
Some growers may prefer to do some cross-ripping to break up compaction layers or fumigate prior to bedding. Generally, bedding in fall, bed-splitting in the spring, and Dammer Diking during the growing season, loosen the soil adequately for the crop.
When diking, it is best to leave the soil smooth enough behind the ripper for the bedding operation. Disk and roller harrows squeeze the air from the soil, forming compaction layers. The Tillage Master can handle a lot of trash, without overworking the soil.
To control the spring flush of weeds, the Tillage Master shanks split the beds down the center. The spiders are removed and replaced with mesh rollers and perhaps rod weeders to firm the beds. This operation kills the weeds and loosens the beds where the seed piece is to be placed, while also increasing soil warming and drying. The roller firms and reseals the ground to prevent excessive drying. Bed splitting is normally done two weeks to ten days prior to planting, depending on soil and field conditions.
Farmers everywhere have had a significant increase by using the Tillage Master. Using the Tillage Master in operations like Ripping and Fall Bedding, farmers are seeing increased yields of 50-100 sacks of potatoes and 20-50 bushels of corn per acre. Following are several of the areas in which the Tillage Master benefits your crops:
LESS COMPACTION: Compaction only occurs on flat surfaces. The primary tillage work for fall bedding is done in a time of the year when the soil is dryer, less susceptible to compaction and more conducive to shattering. Spring compaction is reduced because the dikes drain the furrows and cushion the impact of the tractor tires on the soil. A tractor tire never runs where the crop is to be planted.
MOISTURE ABSORPTION: The patented Reservoir Tillage system, unique to Dammer Diker® products, places little reservoirs all along the field, retaining water and therefore decreasing erosion and increasing yield. Reservoir Tillage is the primary way to keep water, fertilizer and chemicals where they are needed, eliminating runoff and pooling, , resulting in more uniform crop growth, increased yields, water saved, and bigger profits.
If a field is bedded and diked in the fall, the Reservoir Tillage system not only retains winter moisture, but also absorbs more heat, so the soil warms more quickly for earlier spring planting.
NATURAL TILLAGE: Reservoir Tillage opens up the soil to allow more freezing and thawing, to loosen and heave the beds. The continuous freezing and thawing is one of nature’s tools for loosening the soil. Clods are reduced and the soil is ready for planting.
SOIL WARMING: Using the Tillage Master to bed and Dike can easily double the surface area of the soil, making a more efficient solar collector. The angles of the reservoirs catch more sunlight and the little reservoirs create heat sinks for increased microbial activity. This activity can digest crop residue more rapidly, germinate seeds earlier, and achieve crop canopy more rapidly.
FERTILIZATION: Dry pre-plant fertilizer is best applied in the fall, prior to bedding. If this is not possible, dry fertilizer can be applied prior to the spring bed splitting operation. The fertilizer must be spread with the rows; it will concentrate in the tillage reservoirs, but it will be moved into the hill and incorporated with the splitting operation.
A starter band can be applied with the planter or with the Dammer Diker®. It is not suggested that a band be applied with the splitting operation because the band placement will be erratic. Other fertilizer needs can be met with applications of liquid nutrients with the irrigation water.
Over all, the Tillage Master is the only tillage equipment you may need. Ag Engineering, Co., also builds bedders and deep rippers and Fumigators for potatoes, corn, sugar beets, onions, and other crops. For further information, contact Ag Engineering & Development, Co., toll free at (800) 627-9099.