Cultivators can be broken down in to two main groups, primary cultivators that are designed for the first pass in uncultivated soil. These tend to work a little deeper and often are a combination of discs and tines. Machines like the Sumo Trio, Vaderstad Topdown and Simba SL are popular machines in this category. Secondary cultivators tend to be lighter and are used for breaking down the soil to create a seedbed; often these are spring tine machines. There is also a growing demand for disc cultivators like the Vaderstad Carrier and Simba X-press which can be used in both situations, to breakdown ploughing and cultivated land, or directly into stubble.
Cultivations methods have changed over the years but the fundamentals remain the same, virtually all cultivators will use either tines or discs to move this soil. The factor that has changed the most is the quantity of soil they move, where as in years gone by cultivation was very intensive with a lot of ploughing and deep disruption of the soil now many farmers are exploring the possibilities of minimum and even zero-tillage. Cultivation is, and always will be, a vital part of farming. Firstly as a method of weed control, either by burying them with deep cultivation or by encouragement of early weed germination which can then be sprayed off. Secondly to create a suitable seedbed and help the germination of the crop.
Cultivators can come in sizes from 2M to 10 or even 12M machines. The most common sizes being 3M – 6M and the larger machines folding to a maximum transport with of 3M. Machines that work the soil with deep tines like a Sumo Trio can take some pulling so tend to be narrower in size, but machines that work just the top couple of inches with spring tines or discs don’t tend to use a lot of horsepower so can be wider in size.
Short discs are extremely popular currently for the versatility, as they can be used directly on to stubble to create a stale seedbed and encourage early weed germination or “chitting”. They can also be used on top of ploughing and early cultivation to break it down into a softer seedbed ready for planting.
Cultivators are fairly simple to maintain with wearing parts readily available from most parts dealers. Care should be take when using cultivators not to turn while the machine is in work to save undue strain on the machine. Moving parts such as bearings and pivots should be regularly greased to extend the life of the machine. A properly maintained cultivator will be give years of fairly low cost service.
Ellis Machinery have been leading the way in quality used cultivation equipment for over two decades and have a large stock of cultivators from many of the leading brands such as:
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