Revegetation Equipment Catalog

Contents
Home
Forward
Tractors
All-terrain Vehicles
Global Positioning Systems
Controlling Plants Mechanically
Controlling Plants Chemically
Controlling Plants by Fire
Site Preparation
Fertilizing & Mulching
Seeding
Specialized Planters
Seed Harvesting
Seed Processing
Transport Trailers
Miscellaneous
References
Appendix
Disclaimer
Contact Us

 


Site Preparation

Site preparation is critical for successful revegetation projects.  Preparation includes tilling to remove compacted layers, improving soil tilth, destroying weeds, and providing a firm, friable seedbed with safe sites for seeded species.  Tillage implements are classified as primary and secondary.  Primary tillage implies initial soil disturbance while secondary tillage is the final seedbed preparation prior to planting.  Rangeland is often littered with shrub debris so a portion of this chapter is dedicated to implements designed to traverse debris-littered land.

   Primary Tillage             Secondary Tillage             Debris-Littered Rangeland
    Offset Disks                      Disk Harrows                     Soil Sifter
    Moldboard Plows            Seedbed Finishers            Chains
    Chisel Plows                                                             Modified Chains
    Subsoilers                                                                 Spiral-Blade Choppers
    Rotary Tillers                                                             Land Imprinters
                                                                                      Pipe Harrows
                                                                                      Contour Trenchers & Disk Bedders

Primary Tillage

Offset Disks                                                                              Top of Page

Description

Offset disks chop and turn under surface debris, breakup shallow compacted layers, till, and uproot small woody plants.  Offset disks consist of two gangs of disks set at angles to each other.  Each gang has a separate frame and axle assembly.  On some models gang angles can be adjusted for varying soil conditions or desired disking action.  Blades may be notched or straight-edged and vary from 22 to 28 inches in diameter.  Some models are design specifically for rocky soil.  Offset disks range from 6 to 22 feet in width and require tractors with 70 to 300 PTO horsepower.  These disks have rubber tires that are raised and lowered hydraulically for depth control or transport.

Application

Offset disks are used for primary seedbed preparation where small to medium amounts of debris and vegetation are present.  Blade diameters larger than 30 inches are used for brush control on undisturbed soil (see chapter on Controlling Plants Mechanically).  Disks are a popular method of tilling soil from a depth of a few inches to 9 inches for revegetation projects, and most disks used on rangeland employ notched disk blades to chop and bury debris.  Disks can be used on a wide range of soil conditions and moderately rocky soil, but they cannot be used if there is excessive timber or large rocks.  If brush debris is not present, then rubber-tired tractors are used to pull the disks.  These disks are marketed as heavy-duty farm units.

Offset disk
Offset disk.
Photo courtesy AMCO Mfg. Co.

Sources

The manufacturers' websites list information on equipment sizes, accessories, dealers, and their email addresses.

AMCO Manufacturing, Inc.
800 South Industrial Parkway
Yazoo City, MS 39194
Phone: 800-748-9022
Phone: 662-746-4464
Fax: 662-746-6825
Website: www.amcomfg.com

Case IH
700 State Street
Racine, WI 53404
Phone:  262-636-6011
Fax:  262-636-6078
Website:  www.caseih.com

Deere & Company
John Deere World Headquarters
One John Deere Place
Moline, IL 61265
Phone:  309-765-8000
Fax:  309-765-4225
Website:  www.deere.com

Krause Corporation
P.O. Box 2707
Hutchinson, KS 67504-2707
Phone: 800-957-2873
Fax: 620-663-6943
Website: www.krauseco.com

Rome Plow Company           
P.O. Box 48
Cedartown, GA 30125
Phone:  770-748-4450
Fax:  770-748-4427
Website:  www.romeplow.com

Moldboard Plows                                                                                       Top of Page

Description

Moldboard plows are designed to slice and invert a layer of soil, thus covering the sod and leaving a rough surface.  These plows have large curved bottoms called moldboards which attach to a frame.  The moldboards have shears along the bottom edge and large curved wings above to turn the soil.  Models are available that have 2 to 12 bottoms, a 12- to 22-inch width of cut, and plow to a depth of 14 inches.  They attach to the 3-point hitch or they may be towed.  Most models have furrow wheels, and the plows are raised or lowered hydraulically.  Horsepower pulling requirements are high and vary widely because of soil type and conditions.

Application

Moldboard plows are used on clean-tilled cropland with high amounts of residue.  Some models have reset mechanisms which allow each bottom to rise over an obstruction and then return to its original position.  They are ineffective in rocky soils.  Because these plows have very high power requirements and leave little crop residue on the soil surface, they are not used as extensively as they once were in row-crop farming.  They have been used on abandoned farmland being prepared for grass seeding.

Moldboard plow
Moldboard plow.
Photo courtesy of Case IH.

Sources

The manufacturers' websites list information on equipment sizes, accessories, dealers, and their email addresses.

Case IH
700 State Street
Racine, WI 53404
Phone:  262-636-6011
Fax:  262-636-6078
Website:  www.caseih.com

Deere & Company
John Deere World Headquarters
One John Deere Place
Moline, IL 61265
Phone:  309-765-8000
Fax:  309-765-4225
Website:  www.deere.com

Wil-Rich Manufacturing
P.O. Box 1030
Wahpeton, ND 58075-9337
Phone: 800-688-3300
Phone: 701-642-2621
Fax: 701-671-4438
Website: www.wil-rich.com

Chisel plows                                                                                               Top of Page

Description

Chisel plows are used to control weeds, break up compacted soils, and increase water infiltration while leaving crop residue on the soil surface to reduce erosion.  They have curved shanks mounted on a frame with ridged or spring-loaded clamps.  A wide variety of chisel points, sweeps, and shovels are available to accomplish desired tillage.  Plow widths vary from 8 to 62 feet, but 20 to 40 feet is the most common width.  Extra wide units fold to a suitable transport width.  Twelve inch spacing between points is standard, but other settings are available.  Plowing depth can be as much as 12 inches.  Horsepower requirement vary from 75 to 400, depending on width and plowing depth.

Application

Chisel plows are popular for conservation tillage where residue must be left on the soil surface, and they are widely available.  Chisel sweeps sever the plant roots below the surface and fracture the subsoil for moisture retention.  When seeding into crop stubble, chisel plowing provides weed control and conserves moisture in months prior to seeding.  Some models are designed for use in limited amounts of rocks.  Chisel points wear with use and must be replaced or hard-surfaced to remain effective.  Attachments such as a coil-tine harrow are often used to smooth the soil surface.

Chisel plow
Chisel plow with coil-tine attachment.
Photo courtesy of New Holland.

Sources

Chisel plows are available from all major tractor manufacturers and tractor dealers.

The manufacturers' websites list information on equipment sizes, accessories, dealers, and their email addresses.

Subsoilers                                                                                                   Top of Page

Description

Subsoilers (a.k.a. rippers) penetrate deep into the soil and fracture compacted layers and leave crop residue on the soil surface.  Subsoilers use large, stout standards (shanks) attached to a toolbar with shear bolts or spring-reset devices.  Toolbars can be straight or v-shaped.  Straight toolbars are used in multi-tasking, row-crop operations.  V-shaped units are more energy efficient.  Parabolic-shaped standards require less pulling horsepower than straight standards, and they lift the soil upward resulting in excellent shattering of the subsoil area plus good surface disturbance.  Horsepower requirements range from 30 to 50 per standard, and models can vary from 1 to 13 standards.  Width will vary up to about 24 feet.  Depth of operation varies from 12 to 30 inches.  An L-shaped standard developed for maximum soil shattering is marketed under the trade name, Paratill.

Application

Subsoilers are used on highly compacted disturbed soils or land with compacted layers resulting from livestock or tractor/vehicle operations.  Subsoiling breaks up the compacted soil for improved water infiltration, moisture retention, and root growth.  A variety of points are available to vary the amount of surface disturbance, soil shattering, and protection in rocky conditions.  Prior to seeding, additional seedbed preparation is necessary.

V-shaped subsoiler
V-shaped subsoiler with parabolic-shaped standards.
Photo courtesy of Ed Clark, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station.

Sources

The manufacturers' websites list information on equipment sizes, accessories, dealers, and their email addresses.

AGCO Corporation
4205 River Green Parkway
Duluth, GA 30096
Phone:  770-813-9200
Fax:  770-813-6158
Website:  www.agcocorp.com

Bigham Brothers, Inc. (Paratill)
P.O. Box 3338
Lubbock, TX 79452
Phone: 800-692-4449
Phone: 806-745-0384
Fax: 806-745-1082
Website: www.bighambrothers.com

Case IH
700 State Street
Racine, WI 53404
Phone:  262-636-6011
Fax:  262-636-6078
Website:  www.caseih.com

Deere & Company
John Deere World Headquarters
One John Deere Place
Moline, IL 61265
Phone:  309-765-8000
Fax:  309-765-4225
Website:  www.deere.com

Great Plains Manufacturing, Inc.
P.O. Box 5060
Salina, KS 67402
Phone: 785-823-3276
Website: www.greatplainsmfg.com

New Holland North America
500 Diller Avenue
New Holland, PA 17557
Phone:  888-290-7377
Website:  www.newholland.com

Wil-Rich Manufacturing
P.O. Box 1030
Wahpeton, ND 58075-9337
Phone: 800-688-3300
Phone: 701-642-2621
Fax: 701-671-4438
Website: www.wil-rich.com

Rotary Tillers                                                                                               Top of Page

Description

Rotary tillers are power-take-off powered implements that incorporate crop residue or soil amendments and pulverize the soil to a fine tilth.  Soil is tilled as a rotating, horizontal shaft with L-shaped tines penetrate into and stir the soil.  Tiller width varies from 30 to 90 inches and requires 20 to 100 horsepower.

Application

Rotary tillers are very effective in chopping crop residue or sod and incorporating it into the soil or incorporating fertilizer, mulches, manure, or other amendments into the soil.  They are used in gardens, landscaping, and site-specific agricultural applications.  They require more horsepower than other tillage implements and do not lend themselves to large scale operations.  Rocks and abrasive soils cause excessive wear on the tines.  Some companies list rotary tillers as attachments for landscaping tractors with less than 80 horsepower.

Rotary tiller
Rotary tiller mulching and preparing a seedbed.
Photo courtesy New Holland.

Sources

The manufacturers' websites list information on equipment sizes, accessories, dealers, and their email addresses.

Alamo Group
1502 East Walnut Street
Seguin, TX 78155
Phone: 800-882-5762
Phone: 830-379-1480
Fax: 830-379-0864
Website: www.alamo-group.com
Website: www.servis-rhino.com

Bush Hog, LLC
P.O. Box 1039
Selma, AL 36701
Phone: 334-874-2700
Fax: 334-874-2701
Website: www.bushhog.com

Deere & Company
John Deere World Headquarters
One John Deere Place
Moline, IL 61265
Phone:  309-765-8000
Fax:  309-765-4225
Website:  www.deere.com

Land Pride
Great Plains Manufacturing, Inc.
P.O. Box 5060
Salina, KS 67402
Phone: 785-823-3276
Website: www.landpride.com
Website: www.greatplainsmfg.com

New Holland North America
500 Diller Avenue
New Holland, PA 17557
Phone:  888-290-7377
Website:  www.newholland.com 

Woods Equipment Company
P.O. Box 1000
Oregon, IL 61061
Phone: 866-869-6637
Phone: 815-732-2141
Fax: 815-732-7580
Website: www.woodsonline.com

Secondary Tillage                                                                                 Top of Page

Disk Harrows

Description

Disk harrows (a.k.a. tandem disks) are for secondary tillage including weed control, incorporation of fertilizers and herbicides or pesticides, breaking up surface crusts and clods, and mixing and leveling the top few inches of soil.  Disk harrow widths between 11 and 46 feet are towed implements with wheels that are raised and lowered hydraulically.  Narrower width models attach to the 3-point hitch and are listed as accessories to landscape-size tractors (less than 75 horsepower).  Large, wide disks fold for a suitable transport width.  Blade diameters are 20, 22, or 24 inches and spacing between blades varies between 7 and 9 inches.  Selected models are designed to traverse small rocks.

Application

Disk harrows are seedbed finishing implements.  They are lighter duty than offset disks and generally use smaller blade diameters and narrower spacing between blades.  They are designed for clean-tilled land.  The heavy duty models are advisable when crop residue is present or for rangeland applications.  Several attachments are available to smooth the soil surface for planting.  These disks are very effective in removing weeds prior to planting and incorporating herbicides, manure, or crop residue.  They are not designed for rough, rocky, or brushy conditions.

Disk harrow
Disk harrow.
Photo courtesy Case IH.

Sources

Disk harrows are available from all major tractor manufacturers and tractor dealers.

The manufacturers' websites list information on equipment sizes, accessories, dealers, and their email addresses.

Seedbed Finishers                                                                                  Top of Page

Description

Seedbed finishers are various combinations of field cultivators, spring-tooth harrows, cultipackers, coil-tine harrows, spike-tooth harrows, chain-link harrows, and rolling baskets to prepare the soil for planting.  They vary in width from 7 to 40 feet and are designed for easy transporting from field to field.  Combinations vary widely between and within manufacturers to accomplish the desired soil condition.  Field cultivators and spring-tooth harrows can be purchased separately.

Application

Finishers are designed to match conservation tillage methods used with various crops, soils, and geographic locations.  The finishers chop up crop residues, breakup clods and surface crusts, control weeds, incorporate chemicals, and stir and firm the soil for planting.  Selected components are suitable for rangeland seedbed preparation.  Soil packers used in rangeland seeding are often shopmade.

Field cultivator
Field cultivator with coil-tine harrow attachment.
Photo courtesy of John Deere.

Rolling basket seedbed finisher
Rolling basket seedbed finisher.
Photo courtesy of John Deere

Cultipacker seedbed finisher
Cultipacker seedbed finisher.
Photo courtesy of John Deere.

Rubber-tire seedbed finisher
Shopmade rubber-tire packer.

Sources

Seedbed finishers are available from all major tractor manufacturers and tractor dealers.

The manufacturers' websites list information on equipment sizes, accessories, dealers, and their email addresses.

Kovar Mfg. (chain-link harrows)
909 South Street
Anoka, MN 55303
Phone: 763-421-4047
Fax: 763-421-0140
Website: www.kovarsales.com

McFarlane Mfg. Co. Inc. (chain-link harrows)
P.O. Box 100
Sauk City, WI 53583
Phone: 800-627-8569
Phone: 608-643-3321
Fax: 608-643-3976
Website: www.flexharrow.com

Debris-Littered Rangeland Tillage                                               Top of Page

Soil Sifters

Description

Soil sifters clean fields by removing rocks, roots, and small brush debris from the soil and depositing the debris in windrows.  The sifter cleans soil to a depth of 12 inches by combing rocks and roots from the soil with a 7-foot wide digging cylinder.  Soil and debris are lifted onto a rotating, transfer cylinder and then onto a steel-mesh conveyor belt.  Soil falls to the ground as debris is carried up the belt and into a rear storage hopper.  The unit is pulled by a rubber-tired tractor of at least 140 horsepower and the sifter mechanism is powered by the tractor’s 1000-rpm power-take-off.  Two hydraulic circuits are required: one for depth control and one for hopper dumping.

Application

Sifters are available as either rock or root machines.  Prior to operating the sifter, the ground must be loosened with a chisel or rootplow.  The sifter treatment leaves the soil in a level and well-pulverized condition suitable for seeding.  Brush piles are free of soil and easily burned.  An attachment is available to convey debris to a mobile hopper pulled by a second tractor.  The sifter is not adapted to excessively rocky soil or soil that is too wet or too dry.

Soil sifter
Soil sifter operating in plowed ground
littered with small brush debris.

Source

Company website gives additional information.

Rockland Manufacturing Company (Rotoveyer)
P.O. Box 5
Bedford, PA 15522
Phone: 800-458-3773
Fax: 814-623-7214
Website: www.rocklandmfg.com

Chains                                                                                                          Top of Page

Description

Anchor chains are designed for use on large ships and off-shore drilling rigs.  Used anchor chain is commonly utilized for seedbed preparation in revegetation.  Their use in tree felling is covered in the chapter on Controlling Plants Mechanically.  Chains are sized by the diameter of the round stock.  Revegetation projects normally use chain sizes between 2 and 3 inches.  Within this range, individual links are 12 to 18 inches in length and weigh between 25 and 86 pounds.  The resulting weight per foot of chain is about 37 to 88 pounds, respectively.  Anchor chain is usually sold in 90-foot lengths called “shots.”  Further specifications on weight and link size are listed in Appendix Chains.

Application

Anchor chains are pulled in a “U” shape between two crawler tractors.  The distance between the two tractors depends on the force required to pull the chain.  An initial distance of 1/3rd the length of the chain is a rule-of-thumb.  Size and length of the chain are factors as well as the size of the tractors.  The distance between tractors can be further apart when preparing a seedbed than when felling trees.  Chain length is usually between 200 to 400 feet.  Length can be adjusted easily with standard cutting and welding tools.  Crawler tractors used for chaining vary from 140 to 350 horsepower.  Production rates vary widely between 20 and 70 acres/hour.  Chaining has been used effectively on debris-littered land for seedbed preparation for broadcast seeding.  Soil disturbance is usually in the top 1 to 2 inches of soil.  Chaining a second time in the opposite direction is useful if soil disturbance for seeding is insufficient after the first pass.  Chaining has also been used following broadcast seeding for seed covering.  Chain size and soil type and condition must be considered to achieve desired results.  Dry, clay soil may require multiple passes with a heavy chain while one pass may be sufficient in sandy loam soil.  Chains have a tendency to bury in very sandy soils with dunes.  Chaining is very cost effective, especially on large areas.

Anchor chain used for seedbed preparation
Chaining for seedbed preparation.

Sources

Used anchor chain can be purchased from marine supply or salvage companies located in coastal cities of the United States.

Modified Chains                                                                                         Top of Page

Description

Modified chains are anchor chains with material added to the chain links for the purpose of increasing soil disturbance.  Railroad rails, rods, blades, or disks have been used.  A modification known as an “Ely Chain” uses 18 inch pieces of railroad rail (70 to 90 lb/yard) welded to each or every other chain link.  A chain with disk blades welded to every other chain link is known as a “disk chain.”  The optimum blade diameter is 28 inches.  Diking chains use blades (12 x 4 inches) welded to opposite sides of every chain link to form small basins in the soil as the chain rotates.  The combination of the disk and diking chain is called a disk-chain-diker.  A unit with 20 disk blades is 35-feet wide and requires a 165- to 200-horsepower crawler tractor for pulling. 

Application

Modified chains must rotate to achieve the desired results.  Swivels fabricated in welding shops or modified from track rollers are attached to each end of the chain to allow chain rotation.  Railroad-rail chains are towed in a “J” shape rather than a "U" to achieve maximum soil disturbance.  Disk chains are towed on a diagonal to achieve optimum disking action.  This type chain was developed to achieve tillage on debris- and shrub-littered rangelands at chaining costs.  As the diking chain rolls, diamond shaped basins 4-inches deep are formed at the rate of 18,000/acre to collect rainfall.  The combination of disking and diking chains enhances seedbed preparation and provides limited shrub control.  Seedbeds prepared with the disk-chain-diker have produced grass densities double those in seedbeds prepared by standard chaining, and the disk-chain-diker method is cost and energy effective.  Information on these chains for brush control is covered in Controlling Plants Mechanically.

Additional Information

Cain, D. 1971.  The Ely Chain.  USDI Bureau of Land Management Handbook.  32 p.

Wiedemann, H.T. and B.T. Cross.  1990.  Disk-chain-diker implement selection and construction.  Center Technical Report No. 1.  Chillicothe-Vernon Agri. Res. and Ext. Ctr., POB 1658, Vernon, TX 76385.

Wiedemann, H.T. and B.T. Cross.  2000.  Disk chain effect on seeded grass establishment.  J. Range Manage.  53:62-67.

Wiedemann, H.T. and B.T. Cross.  2001.  Chain diker effect on seeded grass establishment following disk chaining.  J. Range Manage.  54:138-143.

Railroad rail chain used for seedbed preparation
Anchor chain modified by addition of railroad rails
to increase soil disturbance for seeding.

Disk-chain-diker seedbed preparation method
Disk-chain-diker tills, smoothes, and forms small
basins in the soil in a single pass.  Note water
in basins and resulting grass in basins.

Sources

Used anchor chain and accessories can be purchased from marine supply or salvage companies located in coastal cities of the United States.  Used railroad rails can be purchased from local train companies.  Disk blades can be purchased from local tractor dealers.  Local fabrication shops can modify the chains.

Mike Gibbs (disk-chain-diker)
#2 Rock Ridge Lane
Alamo Heights, TX 78209
Phone: 210-822-1883
Website: http://openrangeinc.com/

Spiral-Blade Choppers                                                                             Top of Page

Description

Spiral-blade choppers often called aerators or renovators use small blades welded to heavy drums in a staggered, spiral pattern around the drum, rather than the long, longitudinally mounted blades used on conventional roller choppers.  Spiral-blade choppers normally use two drums mounted on a frame similar to an offset disk, and they are equipped with rubber tires for transporting.  Spiral-blade choppers are pulled by a crawler tractor or a four-wheel drive tractor with special tire protection (see Tractor Modifications for Rangeland Use).  Drum diameters vary from 18 to 42 inches, and the drums can be filled with water for extra weight.  Width is 12 feet but options are available.  Tractor horsepower requirements vary between 120 and 350 and depend on chopper size, weight, tree/shrub size, and type of terrain.

Application

Spiral-blade choppers have gained popularity in the 1990s, especially in brush-dominated landscapes, because of minimal vibration, effective top growth removal, soil fracturing, and the small basins formed in the soil to hold rainfall.  These basins provide a good seedbed.  Broadcast seeding can be conducted from a seedbox attached to the rear of the chopper.  Because of the rubber tires, the units are easily transported from site to site.  Blade wear can be a problem, and new blades are welded in place.  These choppers should not be used on rocky ground.  Gravelly and some sandy soils can cause excessive blade wear.  Information for its use in brush control is covered in Controlling Plants Mechanically.

Spiral-blade chopper forms basins for seeding
Spiral-blade chopper forms basins in the soil
that are suitable for seeding.

Sources

The manufacturers' websites list information on equipment sizes, accessories, dealers, and their email addresses.

Holt-Cat
Custom Engineered Products
P.O. Box 207916
San Antonio, TX 78220-7916
Phone:  210-648-8415
Fax:  210-648-8875
Website:  www.holt-texasag.com

Lawson Manufacturing, Inc.
700 Dyer Blvd.
Kissimmee, FL 34741
Phone: 800-533-7264
Phone: 407-944-1500
Fax: 407-944-1644
Website: www.lawsonaerator.com

Marden Industries Inc.
P.O. Box 796
Mulberry, FL 33860
Phone: 800-881-0388
Phone: 813-682-7882
Fax: 813-425-0302
Website: www.mardenind.com

Land Imprinters                                                                                        Top of Page

Description

Land imprinters use a heavy drum with wedges to imprint small depressions into the soil to reduce runoff and erosion, increase infiltration, and crush small shrubs.  Land imprinters are similar to roller choppers (see Controlling Plants Mechanically).  They can be fabricated in widths from 6 to 10 feet, with drum diameters ranging from 24 to 36 inches.  Land imprinters are pulled by a crawler or rubber-tired tractor.

Application

Land imprinters are used for seedbed preparation.  The heavy drums firm soil while the wedges form depressions which trap rainfall and seed.  They were developed for use in the desert Southwest, but have been used elsewhere.  A seeder can be attached to the front or rear frame.  Land imprinters operate satisfactorily on rough terrain with small shrubs, but they are not suitable for dense stands of brush.  They are not effective in moist, sticky soil.  A current use is for seeding highway rights-of-way.

Early model land imprinter
Early model land imprinter with front mounted seeder.
Photo courtesy of Marshall Haferkamp.

ImprinterLand imprinter with seedbox
Land imprinter and seedbox mounted on a bulldozer blade.
Enlarged view of imprinter (lower left).
Photos courtesy of Western Ecology.

Source

Western Ecology, LLC.
P.O. Box 6846
Santa Fe, NM 87502
Phone: 505-992-2793
Fax: 505-992-0980
Email: pereco@aol.com

Pipe Harrow                                                                                                Top of Page

Description

Pipe harrows (a.k.a. Dixie harrows) thin low, brittle shrubs and scarify the soil surface for seeding.  Triangular-shaped blades welded to 10-foot long pipes that are attached with swivels to a heavy square beam which is pulled with a tractor.  The modified pipes weigh about 300 pounds each, and a 15-foot wide unit weighs about 4000 pounds.  Required tractor horsepower is at least 130.  Pulling a 25-foot-wide harrow requires a 210 horsepower tractor, while the 40-foot wide harrow requires a 400 horsepower tractor.  The pulling tractor can be equipped for broadcast seeding the harrowed site.

Application

Pipe harrows were designed to remove sagebrush and bitterbrush on rough terrain with rocks.  One trip over removes a moderate amount of sagebrush and twice over removes a very high percentage.  Pipes can be removed from the main beam to reduce brush removal and form special patterns.  Users report 50 to 70 acres/day productivity.  They are well suited to clearing sites in patterns to benefit wildlife.  Seeding is conducted during single-pass harrowing and during the final pass of double-pass harrowing to establish desirable species.  If sufficient desirable grasses are present, seeding may not be necessary.

Pipe harrow used to control shrubs and prepare a seedbed
Pipe harrow
Photo courtesy of Kreig Rasmussen, USDA Forest Service.

Sources

The manufacturers' websites list information on equipment sizes, accessories, dealers, and their email addresses.

Design Line Tool, Inc.
20 South Main
Aurora, UT 84620
Phone: 435-529-3565
Fax: 435-529-3423

Herd Seeder Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 448
Logansport, IN 46947
Phone: 574-753-6311
Fax: 574-722-4106
Website: www.herdseeder.com

Contour Trenchers and Disk Bedders                                                 Top of Page

Description

Contour trenchers are used in the restoration of degraded rangeland to conserve rainfall.  The contour trencher uses a single-shank ripper (subsoiler) to fracture the soil to a depth of 12 to 18 inches.  Tractor horsepower from 40 to 75 is required to pull the ripper.  Wings or a furrow opener can be attached to the ripper’s shank to form a furrow.  A single-row seeder is mounted on the frame of the ripper and powered by a hydraulic motor.  The seed tube is attached so it can be positioned to place seed on the upslope side of the furrow or within the furrow.  These units are shopmade from off-the-shelf components.

A multi-shank unit is under development for the Umatilla National Forest in cooperation with the Forest Service’s Missoula Technology and Development Center for road and trail decommissioning.  This 6-foot wide unit will rip to a depth of 24 inches, and it will require a crawler tractor of a minimum of 150 horsepower and a ripper toolbar.

Contour disk bedders use two rows of cropland disk bedders to form soil dikes along the contour to trap rainfall.  A single-row seeder can be mounted on the bedder’s frame in the same manner as the ripper’s installation.

Application

Contour trenchers break-up hard pans, trap rainfall, improve infiltration, and promote the rejuvenation of resident grasses and the germination, emergence, and establishment of seeded grasses.  Trenches and dikes are installed on the contour and distances between these soil disturbances vary with the percentage of slope, amount of grass cover, and expected rainfall.  Seed is placed above the ridge of soil on the upslope side of the trench/furrow or in the furrow.  When ripping is not feasible due to rocky soil or other factors, then disk bedders can be used to form ridges (borders, beds, dikes) to trap rainfall and promote growth of seeded grasses.  Disk bedders can traverse limited amounts of rocks and brush debris.  It is recommended that the contours be flagged using a level before installation.  It is further recommended that skips be left on about 100 – 150 foot spacing when diking so that intense rainfall will not breach the dikes.

Ripper shank  Contour ripper seeder
Contour bedder seeder
Single-shank ripper with attached wings to form furrow (left) in operation (right) with attached single-row seeder and seed covering chain.
Disk bedder with seeder (center) and seed covering chain.
Photos courtesy of Darrell Ueckert.

Sources

The manufacturers' websites list information on equipment sizes, accessories, dealers, and their email addresses.

Bigham Brothers, Inc. (Disk bedder)
P.O. Box 3338
Lubbock, TX 79452
Phone: 800-692-4449
Phone: 806-745-0384
Fax: 806-745-1082
Website: www.bighambrothers.com

Deere & Company (Ripper)
John Deere World Headquarters
One John Deere Place
Moline, IL 61265
Phone:  309-765-8000
Fax:  309-765-4225
Website:  www.deere.com

Farm Equipment Distributing, Inc. (Bison Ripper)
415 Enterprise
Hewitt, TX 76643
Phone: 254-666-3377
Fax: 254-666-0050
Website: www.farmequipdistr.com

Truax Company, Inc. (seeder)
4300 Quebec Avenue North
New Hope, MN 55428
Phone: 763-537-6639
Fax: 763-536-8352
Website: www.truaxcomp.com 

USDA Forest Service
Missoula Technology and Development Center
5785 Highway 10 West
Missoula, MT 59808-9361
Phone:  406-329-3978
Fax:  409-329-3719
Website:  www.fs.fed.us/cgi-bin/enter.pl
 

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