Farming Organically With Noplow Tillage

After 27 years of organic farming, the Munch family in Michigan has developed a unique combina-tion of green manuring and no-plow tillage to stop erosion and grow better crops. They're building humus, high-quality soil, on a sandy, hill farm. To incorporate the lush growths of sorghum-sudaii grass, the solid-stand corn, and buck wheat, Bill Mtmdl uses a heavy, offset disc. It almost seems to work miracle's in the sandy ground. Two passes, the second at right angles to the first, over a jungle of eight-foot-high sorghum-sudan, and the plants are incoi porated into the soil, ready for a btoadcast seeding of buckwheat or rye, After the seeding, another pass with the disc covers the seed, levels the surface fairly well, and firms the soil to sprout the seed. But still the ground is thick with chopped organic matter which reduces erosion to a minimum. The soil is so biologically alive that the rotting process of the incorporated leaves and stalks begins immediately. Each year the sand becomes richer in humus. "It. works. The best proof I have is that I'm raising fairly good crops right over areas that were stone-filled gullies 30 years ago," says Mtmdt.

His other main cultivating tool is the field cultivator or chisel plow (some farmers call it a digger or chisel), which can he set deep to open up the ground. On grain stubble, sod, hay field, corn or bean fields after harvest, the chisel can be used as a primary tool to break the ground as well as plow it, but without turning it completely over on the surface and allowing easy erosion. Fall-chiseled soil can be gone over with a disc in the spring and planted. Two chisel ings, the secon-d at a right angle or bias slant to die first, can be planted with a drill, pulling a disc ahead of the drill. Or it can be broadcast-

Tu prevent loosened plant trash from chiseling the second time through, Bill Mündt wies "beavertail" ripper blades which are six inches wide—wider thin regular chisels.

planted arid covered with the disc. "For a plowdown crop, you don't need to have a smooth soil surface. Leaving it a little rough catches and holds moisture better," says Mundt.

When incorporating heavy trash, field cultivators are apt to plug up. "The first time through yoii'ie okay," points out Mundt. "But the second time, ihe loosened plant trash will collect in front of the chisels. To prevent that, /. use what arc called beavertail ripper blades. They are six inches wide—wider than regular chisels. What they do is throw dirt ahead of them in enough volume to prevent the jamming of plant material on the blades. Vou have to drive fast to get the proper action," If plugging still persists, or if vou want to dig the ground so deep the tractor won't pull your field cultivator, you can remove every other blade and still do a fairly adequate job of primary cultivation.

Neither offset disc nor chisel is a machine for small tractors. "Figure you need five to eight horsepower for every foot of width of your tool," says Mundt. Since ten feet is about minimum width for standard American offset discs and chisels, you're talking about a tractor of at least 50 horsepower for the smallest models.

Mundt sometimes uses his chisel after the disc. "Where erosion is a bad problem, you can cultivate lightly with the disc a couple of times and chop the trash into the top iayer of the soil. Then, with the trash on top to protect the soil, you can go deep with the chisel and open the ground without burying the top mulch."

Working with targe amounts of plant matter tan cause problems when you are cultivating weeds in row crops. Plant material collects on cultivator shovels. "High-clearance sweep shovels are one wa> around the problem." says Mundt. "but a better way I've found is the high-speed Danish cultivator. IHis model ts a Noble front Sac City, lowa.j This row cultivator has narrow tines for shovels. and when pulled t.lvuugh the ground they shimmy and shake, avoiding buildups of plant debris and clumps of sod. I had no trouble even cultivating corn that I had planted in a field previously sown with orchard grass, which always leaves troublesome clumps of soots when you work it up."

The payoff? Very little erosion, low overhead, and satisfactory crops. "We don't get high yields." says Mundt. "We aren't interested in that. We're looking for quality. We're satisfied with 80 to 90 bushels of corn. We feed it to our milk tows and beef animals and believe they respond with better efficiency than if they were fed highly chemicalized, heat-dried corn. We don't even plant for high yields. I like a plant population of around 17,000 in 40-inch rows for corn."

The chisel and Danish cultivator are Mundt's alternatives for the mold-board on his highly erosive soil.

SOURCES OF CHISEL PLOWS/SUBSOILERS

UJ J

es D

BEAUVAIS & ROBIN, ETS.

X

BOM FORD & EVERSHED L/I D,

X

J. 1. CASE

X

CECOCO

X

COLE MFG.

X *

CORSICANA GRADER & MACHINE CO.

X

DELAPI.ACE, ETS.

X

VV. HERTECALMT

X

HUARD-UCF-SCM

X

X

INTERNATIONAL MODERN MACHINERY, INC.

X

JEOFFROY MFG., INC.

X

KMC (KELLEY MFG. CO.)

X

KOEHN MFG. & DISTRIBUTING

X

PLANET PLOWS, INC,

X

ROYAL INDUSTRIES

X

SEARS, ROEBUCK ft CO,

X

SOUTHEAST MFC, CO.

X

TAYLOR IMPLEMENT MFG. CO.

X

X

TRACTOR SUPPLY CO.

X

UNITED FARM TOOLS

X

X

WIKOMI MFG. CO.

X

" Available with plainer attachment.

The Subsoiter

The chisel plow is not quite the same as a subsoil plow, sometimes called the deep chisel, or V-plow, though the actions of the two implements are now being combined into one machine. The subsoiler is a much heavier tool with narrow ripper blades that dig deeply into the soil to break up compacted layers for better drainage and root penetration.

The subsoil plow is a clear indication of the weakness of modern farming methods. It was designed to offset the negative effects of heavy mH|

How Break Hardpan

Years- of moldboarit plowing hnvt.• left this layer of hardpan which only the subsoil plow can penetrate. National Tillage Machinery Laboratorv

Years- of moldboarit plowing hnvt.• left this layer of hardpan which only the subsoil plow can penetrate. National Tillage Machinery Laboratorv

The ïuh-.Qih-r nouille-, tin- shape of the this/:!, hut it i n much heavier-duty tool which penetrate:, deeper « well.

farm machinery and the discontinuation o£ rota-dons of alfalfa and sweet clover, whose roots formerly penetrated into and broke up hardpan. a slatelike layer of soil f> to 8 inches beneath the surface, caused by comp'tction from heavy machinery.

A cure for hardpan, though only a temporary cure, the subsoiler is a deep-penetrating chiseilike plow which requires a tremendous amount of power to put!, A small-scale operator shouldn't plan to puii more than one subsoiling plow with a small tractor, and only a larger smalt tractor at that.

The Disc Plow and Olfset Disc

Disc plows are a third type of soil breaker or sodbuster. The original kind, which was fashionable in the* middle 40s, consisted of from two to six large, heavy discs, which when pulled at a v.lant, turned the soil over somewhat like a moldboard plow. Though still used in some areas, they are being replaced by the offset disc,

FARMS' KS

Tin■ narrow sections of this spike-tooth harrow are light and easy to lift lor inspection.

The cement, blocks increase rutting depth on ihis eight-foot, pull-type tandem due harrow.

i'ools for cultivation which resembles tEv conventional tandem disc, but is much heavier and is composed of only two gangs of discs positioned one behind the other at a bias to each other. (Tandem discs haw four <ets of gangs, two behind two.) At present, otiset discs Lire very popular with farmers who have experienced erosion problems with the moldhoard plow. What'* more, (he offset disc will incorporate rank, ui.lt stands of green manure better than a chisel plow, and without plugging with crop residue.

The Disc Harrow

After a field is plowed and before it is planted, the soil has to be wot Led into a fine seedbed.

The standard toots for fining and leveling a good seedbed are die tandem disc and the spike-toothed harrow. The (list does the fining, and the harrow levels out the gouging marks of the disc. Hand tools ut the garden do roughly the same operation when hoeing spaded .soil into a finer texture and then smoothing it with a garden take. Your hoe is the: disc, your rake, the* hanow.

if you can afford only one tool for this operation, make it a tandem-disc harrow. Old ones are common ^nci often low-priced in the small '>-, 7-, or H-fyot widths. Yours should be wide enough to cover yo:?r tractor's tracks when pubmg it. If the disc bearings are worn out, though, so that no amount of grease will get the blades rolling smoothly, look for another disc. ' There's usually one bearing lor every two pairs of disc blades. Pump them lull of grease and keep them that way.

Old disc blades are equipped with scrapers thai are supposed to keep dirt from building up on ihein. On an old d;sc, they almost always will be bent out of position or loose. You may have to straighten and-'or rebolt them. (Sometimes old bolts and burrs can be tightened, but more often they are rusted solid and have to be cut off and replaced.) Actually, if dirt is building up 011 your discs, nine times out of ten it means your clay soil is too wet for disking. When the soil is fit anil the disc blades shiny—at least on their edges—dirt will seldom clog them.

Mounted discs, like mounted plows, are very nice for cultivating small plots and have the same advantages and disadvantages as the latter. Newer pull-type discs have rubber tires for transport and are raised or lowered lo any desired depth by hydraulic pumps. If your tractor is equipped with hydraulic; power, its potential usefulness is just about double that of a tractor not so equipped. If you are going to have to move your disc any distance on roads, you will need a fully mounted or rubbet-tirett

Older discs c: ti move from one fieid to another only on their disc blades, so the disc

Location of ¿reuse zcrk on due. Sole the correct positions of the scraper': against the disc blades.

Location of ¿reuse zcrk on due. Sole the correct positions of the scraper': against the disc blades.

iHKsBi

iHKsBi

The crank for adjusting the \lant of the diic blades. Brian-, the \lidmg tongue u.-isembly tuny be moi-ed bark and forth to slant or strniehten the disc.

[.m'i gel your disc in goad adjust about ruin ;t field in a few ice will look like (he South issible, pull a harrow behind lines! leveling. (We say "when-tause if vou are disking heavy ieat or bean straw, you can't w behind the disc. It would :-,taik.s.) Sinai!, two-section 0 feet in width arc fairly easy t: purchased for anywhere from you will find have levers that (tin nearly horizontal 10 nearly For deepest digging, you set I. For dragging over ground ues would clog (fie harrow, or lanes and uncultivated fields, riy horizontal. Someplace bees is usually best for leveling disc.

it in sections usually about 1 .■ftions attach to a front draw-h may be wood or steel. The laches 10 the back of the disc er soil-working tool) by mean' rrangement. The harrow sc he drawbonrd beam by chain-^s. On old discs, (he.se are often our. Or they are reulaced bv

The crank foi adjusting the slant of the disc blades. Below, llu■ iliding tongue 'rarmWv may be moved buck and forth to slant or straighten the disc.

gangs must lie* adjusted out of (tilting position. A disc blade cuts and works the soil when it is slanted slightly sideways from the direction in which it is being pulled. The more slant, the deeper it digs. Mo vet I out of .slant completely, the blades roll along like wheels, barely cutting into the soil at all. On old discs, von cm make the proper change from the tractor seat by means of a rope attached to a pin on the sliding disc tongue. With the disc hitched to the tractor, vc:- pull the pin out of the slot it is testing in, drive forward, and the disc gan;j>. straighten up. Release your pull on the rope, and the pin falls into another hole, To put the disc back in working position, pull. the. pin, back up slowly, and tin; sliding tongue ¡Assembly pushes the disc gangs int.ck into slant position. Further adjustments can then be made by turning the crank above the disc tongue. The crank is intended to be turned from the tractor seat on most models, and it will turn much easier when the disc is actually moving.

No matter how much you fuss with your disc adjustment, getting the thing to leave a perfectly level swath is nearly impossible. II the front discs are cutting too deep in relation to the back, the center of the swath is too low. while the edges of the swath stay too high. If the back discs are cutting too deep in relation to the front, you have the opposite eilect. The faster you go, the more this uneveness is accen tuated. If you don't get your disc in good adjustment, you can just about ruin a field in a low years. 'The surface will look like the South Jersey surf.

Whenever possible, pull a harrow behind \otir disc lor the finest leveling. (We say "whenever possible" because if you are disking heavy cornstalks, or wheat or bean straw, you can't utilize the lianow behind the disc. It would dog tip witn trie stalks.) Small, two-section barrows of S to 10 feet in width are fairly easy !o find and can be purchased for anywhere from

The harrows you will find have levers that adjust the leeth from nearly horizontal 10 nearly vertical positions. For deepest digging, you set ttie teeih vertical. For dragging over ground where piani residues would clog the harrow, or for moving over lanes and uncultivated fields, sei tlie teeth nearly horizontal. Someplace between the extremes is usually best for leveling ground behind the disc.

I (at rows foine in sections usually about I feet wide. The .sections atiach to a front draw-board beam which may be wood or steel. The beam, In turn, attaches to the back of the disc <or trador or other soil-working tool) by mean" of a link-chain arrangement. The harrow sections i ounce t lo the draw board beam by chain-link-tvpe steel rings. On old discs, these are often missing or worn out. Or they are replaced hy bating wire. Sometimes the hooks on the hai row or the dniwboaid beam to which the rings attach are broken oil. All that's (ixable, but knuw what you're buying,

'The levers are about the only other parts of harrows that wear out. The notch pin may he rusted tight, or the spiing mav be, or both; or the toil that connects the uoich pin to the handle may be broken. Broken levers require welding. If von are really short of cash or time.

Thr Itiinly-Hardy Model DD-1000 tandem di.se harrow is equipped with four gangs, each having four 11-inch, heat treated, steel discs. Gangs may he set at angles of 10", ¡V, or 20°, or moiled horizontally. Width of cut is approximately inches. The heavy-duty frame is designed to hold concrete blocks for additional ballast. 'This implement n designed for I I !t> IS It.p. garden tractors with category </ three.¡mint hitili. Weight: ¡82 poun ds.

Hi i nlv-ILtnlv Co.

The IMCO Intermediate disc harrow is designed to be used as a medium-weight tandem harrow. It features a welded frame, gar>y adjustments of S" to 2') ' with positive locking in position, or 9-inch blade spacing, cutting widths of J feet 9 inches to ■i' feet 11 inches. [nik-pi-mSem Mfg. Co.

yon am just ignore broken levers if the teeth are already set about right. Yes, broken levers sell cheap.

Cultipacker

If clods are a problem in your spring-plowed soil, you may eventually want to add a culti-

mulcher or cultipacker to your repertoire of tillage tools. And, in time, a small chisel plow and/or field cultivator will certainly be in order. But. with plow, disc, and harrow, you're on your way. You should be able to handle up to 10 acres of diversified cropland with a 35 It.p. trai tor, a two-bottom plow, an 8-foot disc, and a 10-foot harrow.

SOURCES OF HARROWS

ACM EQUIPMENTS X

BEAU VAIS S: ROBIN ETS.

X

X

BR1NLY-HARDY CO.

X

X

BROWN MFG. CORP.

X

CECOCO

X

X

CENTRAL TRACTOR

X

EDWARDS EQUIPMENT CO.

X

FARNAM EQUIPMENT CO.

X

FUERST BROS., INC.

X

GHERARDI

X

W. HERTECANT

X

HUARD

X

IMCO

X

INDUSTRIAS METALURGICAS

X

INTERNATIONAL MODERN MACHINERY, INC.

X

JOHN R. K.OVAR MFG. CO., INC.

X

X

X

X

MONTGOMERY WARD

X

NOBLE MFG. CO.

X

X

X

PIERCE

X

X

SEARS, ROEBUCK & CO.

X

SOUTHEAST MFG. CO.

X

SPEECO

X

TAYLOR IMPLEMENT MFG. CO.

X

TONUTTI S.P.A.

X

X

UNITED FARM TOOLS

X

VASSAR CO.

WIKOMI X

The Rotary Tiller

The rotary tiller can be used in place of a mold board plow. Heavy ones for farm tractors and medium-sized ones for large, commercial, walking tractors are available, as well as the popular si.'lf-propelled garden tillers. The rotary tiller is probably tire ideal tool for incorporating organic matter and avoiding soil compaction.

However, it is the nature of the tool that it can only move slowly across a field, and for that reason, it has not gained popularity oil larger farms. When heavy stands of green manure have to be incorporated into the soil, the rotary tiller must usually be preceded by a stalk chopper or rotary mower to chop the plant material. Otherwise. rotary tiller tines will frequently entangle with crop residues.

In action, a rotary tiller among the vineyards as pulled behind the Hvldei A IS tractor.

Holder

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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