International Sources Of Rearmounted Tillers

Agria Model 2100

A 7 h.p., two-stroke engine supplies power through one front wheel to drive this tiller. Hooded tillers are available in nine different working widths, and depth is adjustable. It is particularly suited for closely spaced rows. Three-speed tooth wheel gearing is shifted from the handlebar. Its weight is 80 pounds, and provisions are available for adding front weight. Attachments include a ridger, a leaf protector, and a cultivator.

Agria-Werke Gmbh 7108 Moeckmuehl Germany

Buffalo Tillers

Three models are available. The 14 h,p. model weighs 535 kilograms, the 9 h.p., 235 kilograms, and the 7 h.p. model, 205 kilograms—

Tiller attachments come in varying widths, interchangeable for the specific requirements of eack cropping situation, Hako

all without engine. All three have four-cycle, air-cooled, diesel engines, hand-cranked starting, and three speeds for both forward and reverse. With rotary tiller, capacities range from 14 to 1 acre per hour and with plow, from >/3 to acre per hour.

Three Fanners Machinery Co., Ltd. No. 3? Min Chuan St. Wu-Chi Taichun Hsien Taiwan, Republic of China

CeCoCc Suzue Power Tiller Model LEC-50

Two types of engines are available: a water-cooled diese! with 6 or 7 h.p. or an air-cooled, gasoline engine with 6 to 8 h.p. There are six forward and two reverse speeds. Road clearance is a minimum of 178 millimeters, and it weighs 250 kilograms. Power take-off speeds are changeable with two or four steps. A safety device keeps reverse from engaging until the rotary blades have stopped. It has an adjustable handle.

CeCoCo

P.O. Box 8, Ibaraki City Osaka Pref. 567, Japan

SHlHHURr MHOI-POWERED CULTIMTWH_

Prior to the invention of the tractor, about the time of World War I, cable cultivation was the only form of mechanized agriculture for about 75 years, and this represented the first use of steam power for cultivation. Because the first steam engines were not self-propelled, a scheme employing a cable and windlass was used to get the plow from one end of the field to the other. The cable usually wound on a horizontal drum beneath the engine which was driven by bevel gearing from the engine shaft.

Though the most expensive initially, the most satisfactory implementation of this technique utilized two steam engines. One engine pulled the plow through the field while the other paid out slack cable and moved ahead into position for the next haul. As steam engines became lighter, it became more feasible to use them as tractors to pull implements through the soil, and the need for a cable disappeared. Today, cabie cultivation is used on small, steep plots in France and Italy, and for plowing paddy fields in China. Agricultural engineering researchers recognize the winch as a significant tool worth developing in their quest for simply designed machines to satisfy the worldwide need for economical, energy-efficient field mechanization. Mechanical Engineer Stuart Wilson from Oxford outlines the reasons why.

"The three very considerable advantages of cable cultivation compared to conventional tractor use are:

1. Lower energy consumption due to elimination of both wheel slip and the energy needed to transport the prime mover.

2. No compaction of the soil, an increasing problem with large tractors.

3. Ability to plow in wet or slippery conditions.

The disadvantages include the need for two prime movers if the most effective method is used and the need for some sort of reversible plow."

Wilson continues, "However, in light of the fact that plowing is only a small part of the average tractor's use and that most of the remaining duties, especially road haulage, need much less than maximum power, there appears to be a case for evolving a design for a basic tractor of modest power which can be used in pairs for cable plowing when required, but is otherwise capable of performing a variety of lighter duties."

Three designs are on the drawing board to utilize winch cultivation: a pedal-powered Mechanical Mule, a two-wheeled tractor called the Snail, and a three-wheeled tractor, the Spider,

The Mechanical Mule

Designed by Rodale Resources, Inc., in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, the Mechanical Mule harnesses the power of the pedal to provide winch-pulling power fo • farm tilling tasks. The power unit seen in the photo on page 60 is positioned at the head of a row while a toolbar carrier is positioned at the foot of the row.

M echanical Mule tool carrier with cultivator attachment.

M echanical Mule tool carrier with cultivator attachment.

As tin1 oper.ttor of tlie power unit pedals. .1 high-test tivlosi 01 po[\ propylene line fastened to the tool carrier is reeled in and the tool carrier, iiuided bv a second person, pulled itp the row When, one row is comulcted, the helper walks the too! corner to tht foot of the next row. unreeling the power 1,'ne as he walks. Simultaneously the pedaler r/ioves the power unit to the head of the next row. When every thing is m place, the operation is rej. This nniltipurpo.se implement cm be used for plowing, subsoiiing, harrowing, and row-making, as well as cultivating. Tools are quickly interchangeable for tending three rows at a time.

The tool currier is light enough to avoid compacting the soil and narrow enough for sninitii.ii row spacing for intensive crop production. Such intensive cropping systems tent! to iednee the need lot frequent weeding, as the tightlv spaced plants help to shade out the weeds.

Dynomometer H'sts reveal thai an average man can exert a pull of 1,0(10 pounds with the aid of the Mechanical Mule. From a sitting position, the energy of the strongest human muscles, those of the thighs, is relayed through a bicycle nank mechanism to maximize leverage. With spacer bars on the uptake reel, the effective diameter is increased for reeling in several feet of power line with each revolution of the crank—the equivalent of high gear. For harder jobs, the spacer bar can be removed for reeling in only a few inches of line with eacli revolution of the crank—the equivalent of low gear. Pulling speed is rcduced, but pulling power is about doubled.

The row-making tool sitnulltuicoush prepares three rows for planting 12 inches apart, facilitating intensive ; rapping systems.

Spacer bars 01 the ntitalte reel of the Mechanical Mule reel in several feet of power line with each revolution of the criinlc—the equivalent of "high gear."

in the interest of safety, to keep the crank from slipping backwards and the pedals from hitting the operator in the shins, a ratchet-brake mechanism was built into the unit. Depressing a dutch disengages the reel from the crank so the power line can be easily reeled out.

Rod ah: Resources Division 576 North St. Emniaus. PA 18049

Spacer bars 01 the ntitalte reel of the Mechanical Mule reel in several feet of power line with each revolution of the criinlc—the equivalent of "high gear."

The Snail

The Snail. ;i primary cultivation device, was developed at the National College of Agricultural Engineering, Silsoe, Bedford, U.K., as a possible solution to the problem of cultivating hard, dry soil in developing countries during the dry season, so as to achieve early planting with increased crop yield the result, reports Peter Crossley.

The machinc overcomes the energy constraints of human or animal power, is much cheaper than a large tractor and more efficient

The Snail National College of Agricultural Engineering

than a small one. The principle utilized is that of a self-propelled winch controlled by one operator, together with an implement mounted on a frame and controlled by a second operator. The winch unit is driven forward to the extent of its cable, drive is engaged to the winch drum, arid the cable draws the implement towards the winch unit, which is prevented from moving backwards by a self-anchoring sprag.

In iesi.s during the dry season in Malawi, sponsored by the Ministry of Overseas Development, the machine was found to work satisfactorily in most small farm conditions, and would be likely to be economical in areas where alternative cultivation methods were either unavailable or more expensive. It is designed to operate in hard soils and would not be technically satisfactory in wet land or in temperate areas.

The Spider

The Spider is a three-wheeled, self-pro-oelled winch-tractor which evolved from the

Snail and the Kabanyolo. in .*n article entitled "Are Small Tractors Possible?," * Peter Crossley reports that the Kabanyolo was an example of the "ingenious use of mass-produced components in a chassis which was deigned to be manufactured locally from stock materials." He describes the Snail as an example of "a small, self-propelled winch, which provides a much higher draft force than a single-axle tractor of corresponding size and weight." When the limitations of these two units were clearly defined, efforts were directed at combining the best features of both in the design of the Spider.

Still in its early stages of testing, the Spider is being developed at the United Kingdom's National College of Engineering in Silsoe, England.

Crossley states that "the Spider consists of a fabricated chassis, on the front of which is mounted a 6.5 h.p. diesel engine, which drives the two rear wheels by means of a V-belt and

* World Crops /ind Livestock, May/June 1977.

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77; c Spider National Collect' of A^iiiultuiai ICiigiiit'c chain reductions. In the center of the rear axle is a winch drum. Steering is tiller operated on a single front wheel, and the rear track is 1 meter wide."

"it was anticipated that light-draft operations would he carried out by direct traction with me rited Implements at speeds of up to 4 raph, but that for high-draft work, the machine would be operated in the same manner the Snail, by driving forward to the extent of the cable and then winching in the implement."

Now, even before testing has been completed on the Spider, plans are being drawn up for an improved design. Crossicy continues, "The proposed design is that: of a lightweight, throe-wheeled tractor having <M)0 x Hi rear-drive wheels spaced at a 2-rneter-wide track with a .single 4.00 x 12 wheel at the front. The five kw. engine would be transversely mounted in front of the rear axle, the drive being supplied by a chain reduction. Further, enclosed chains would drive each rear wheel from the outer ends of the high-mounted axle, in the right-hand section of which would be mounted a winch drum, flood ground clearance and lateral stability would therefore be obtained. A sprag and guide roller device would act in line with the winch so that the tractor could be driven with the right-hand rear wheel in the furrow, in the conventional manner, for winched operations such as moldboard plowing. A patent has been applied for."

"No differential would be fitted, but as with the original Spider, either or both rear wheels could be engaged by means of dog clutches, thus allowing both wheels to be driven during light cultivation operations, or while moving forward prior to winching. In order to turn at headlands, the inner wheel would be declutched, allowing sharp turns to be made; a reverse gear would not be required. By adding a second primary chain and dog clutch, an additional forward speed could be provided for transport work."

"Although lightweight, the Spider woi.ld optimize its performance for low-draft operations by virtue of its axle characteristics and reasonably sized drive wheels. The track spacing and high ground clearance would allow it to work in ridges. During high-draft winching operations, the machine would work slowly but effectively, and with the addition of a second man on the implement, could undertake operations which no small tractor of equivalent size could attempt in poor traction conditions."

Such design work by the National College of Engineering is aimed at increasing the agricultural productivity in developing countries. One friticism of this final design is the complicated operation procedure. Present thoughts imiuilf cottsidei in» switch to hydrostatic transmission which would simplify operation, but increase cost and decrease dliciencv.

UNIQUE CULTIVATION KISSES

ktirar.da Rotary Cultivator

Tite Australians have devised a cultivation unit which can be powered by any tour-stroke

Kuraruia Rotary Cultivator

Kurunib ln;hivi:icii

Kuraruia Rotary Cultivator

Kurunib ln;hivi:icii gasoline engine to cultivate to a width ol H

inches. Other attachments are available for quiik interchange ol the engine, including a posthole digger and litter vacuum.

Kuranda Industries Ply., Ltd. VI Bank St., P.O. Box Itt Padsiow It\ 1. Australia

The Friday Self-Propelled Power Hoe

The Friday Self-Propelled Power Hoe is a 9 h.p. tractor specially designed for hoeing around individual plants rather than only between rows. It is guided with individual turning brakes, thus leaving your hands free to operate the controls for the hydraulicaily powered hoe blades. Though specially designed with strawberry cultivation in mind, it is good for all row crops, it. is particularly suitable lor the organic farmer who would prefer to cultivate around individual plants rather than use herbicides.

Three different types of hoeing blades are furnished with each machine. An adjustable weeder will comb runners of yoinig strawberry plants without damaging them while dragging out small weeds and leveling the ground. One hydraulic valve raises or lowers the cultivator, weeder, or hand hoes and also controls the fertilizer attachment.

The Friday Helf-Propatled Power Hok Fridav Tractor Co,

The Friday Helf-Propatled Power Hok Fridav Tractor Co,

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The -i.2 h.p.. air-cooled engine powers one reverse and three forward speeds for a range of to 7 inph. Low rates of speed are necessary for thorough hoeing. 'The hoe has a t.H-inch crop clearance and weighs {,'210 pounds. A fertilizer attachment and dearie starter are available options.

The manufacturer claims that one man can cultivate, hoe, weed, and fertilize a whole acre in 2 hours. At this rate, he ran assume responsibility for caring for 25 acres o£ strawberries.

Friday Tractor Co., Inc. Hartford. Ml 49057

ground. .Some inventions work; some do not. Some work better in certain soils than in others. Some work better in wet years than in dry, or vice versa. But be assured that whatever idea for tilling soil you may have, someone, somewhere, has the tool for it.

PLOWS

Fanners through the ages have devised almost every conceivable type of soil-working tool—¿'roni nothing more that! u tree branch dragged over the soil to level it, to sophisticated, spinning steel knives churning through the

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THE MOLDBOARD PLOW

'The moldboard plow is the traditional power tool for opening or breaking the ground in preparation for planting. Characteristically, the moldboard, from which this type of plow gets its name, turns dirt completely over as the plow is pulled along, burying surface plant material and leaving soil bare, loose, and easily worked into a seedbed, Most moldboard plows have solid moldboards, though slotted mold-boards are also made and used in some soils.

Some organic farmers think the moldboard plow is an undesirable tillage tool and put their faith in offset discs. This argument has beer! going on for over 50 years and won't be settled for 50 more. In the meantime, just remember that on a small, noncommercial

Fanners through the ages have devised almost every conceivable type of soil-working tool—¿'roni nothing more that! u tree branch dragged over the soil to level it, to sophisticated, spinning steel knives churning through the

The otay drawback of the moldboard plow is that it. can cause greater erosion. The boy has kis hand on the slicing coulter.

homestead, ;m old plow costing under $50 is adequate, while even the smallest, used olfset disc, heavy enough to really chop up and incorporate crop residue and green manure into tfie soil, will cost you 10 to 20 times that much. The only drawback to the moldboard plow you will need to remember is that it can cause erosion. I.iotft plow steep slopes and don't fail-plow even gentle slopes with a moldboard plow.

Size is the first consideration when shopping tor a used plow. For a two-bottom (two plows), i4-inch model, you need at least, a 25 h.p. tractor, and j5 would be better. (The M-inch measurement is the width of the furrow- each plowshare make.-..) A 15 h.p. tractor will puii a singir 12-inch piow. (One of the editors of this book. Gene Logsdon, recommends not going smaller than a 1'1-inch plow for field work, but this is a matter of personal preference. Me finds th;;t the smaller plows aren't heavy enough to satisfy him, especially for turning under green manure crops.)

You may also have to decide between a mounted plow and a pull-type plow. Mounted plows attach to the tractor in such a way that

Coulters cut. mold boards turn the soil over, arid a wheel to the rear adjusts the plowing depth.

The iwo-hoiiuin. plou:- dogs u. good job on plots of ten acres or less.

The iwo-hoiiuin. plou:- dogs u. good job on plots of ten acres or less.

Here the pull-type plow is in a raised position with its rear wltee completely cfl the ground.

they can he raised completely oft the ground for ease in backing into tight corners of small fields or garden plots and in transporting them over the road. They are more difficult to attach to the tractor than are pull type», require a power take-off connection and/or hydraulic pump, and are more expensive.

Puii-type plows hitch and unhitch rather tiasily by comparison and are cheaper, but they are far less maneuverable. On some two-bottom pull-types, the rear wheel lifts completely off the ground when the plowshares are ;n the raised position. That's a desirable characteristic, since it lets you back the plow as easily as you can a ! wo-wheeled trailer. When you cannot back, up ;t plow, it is almost impossible to work small areas or tight corners where turning space is very if mi ted.

The older two-bottom plows are all pull types and -re perhaps better buy for the money, even if they are a little awkward. Few of them are worn-out—they just become obsolete. A cog and gear mechanism powered by the revolving left wheel of the plow raises and lowers the plowshares when activated by pulling a trip rope. When you come to the end of the field, you tug gently on the rope and the plow lifts out of the ground. Another gentle tug and it drops into the f Li rr^1 w 7i gain. The tripping mechanisms probably wear out sooner or later, so you should check before you buy.

Most likely, the plow points will be dull, and you will have to get them sharpened or buy new ones. When you order new ones, you will need to know (he name and model of your plow.

Check the two levers on the plow. Each lever raises or lowers the wiieel closest to it. The shorter lever over the furrow wheel sets the depth of the plowshares, while the longer one levels the pitch of the two plows so that they plow evenly at. whatever depth. Sometimes the levers are broken, cracked, o> bent, especially the shorter one, from trying to adjust plow depth while the plows arc in the ground. Always make the short lever adjustment with the plows raised. The long ¡ever can be adjusted from the tractor while you are in motion.

The lever handles have a hinged piece which you squeeze against the main handle to lift the lever pin out of the slot that it's in. With the slot pin lifted, you can move the lever up or down. The lever pin may be rusted tight, or the spring that keeps proper tension on it may-have become lusted or broken. All are fairly easy to repair.

Perhaps the most important point is to he sure each plow point is preceded by a coulter— the di.se that slices off the soil which the mold-board will turn over. Coulters are easy to take

off of one plow and put on another plow: hence, they are easily lost. An old plow may cost only .§10, but if the coulters are missing, replacements are liable to cost you $50 or mote.

Next, check the condition of the moidboards and plow points. If the surfaces where the dirt slides are very rusty and pitted, you will have a difficult time getting the plow to scour Dirt will stick to the steel, and the plow won't be effective, if there's only a little rust or shallow rust, it will wear off quickly when you plow, leaving the shiny, smooth steel surface necessary for good plowing. Better yet, an old plow that has been cared for will have its moidboards and plow points covered with a coat of grease or oil when not in use to protect against rust. Be sure you treat your plow .urfaccs to the same protection between plowing seasons,

A rusted moldboard may be reclaimed with fine sandpaper and rust remover, but if badly pitted, it will never scour very well. Look for another plow.

You want the plow to make even furrows, not every :>ther one higher or lower. If the latter condition prevails on your plowed ground, keep Clanging the lever positions until the turned furrows al! !cok ¡eve! with each oilier. Remember that the right wheel runs in the furrow four to six inches lower than the left wheel if you are plowing four to six inches deep So when you make your first pass across the field, there is no furrow for the wheel to run hi, and therefore you need to adjust the plow depth lower. Otherwise, the front plow won't go deeply enough into the ground. On the second round, you will have to readjust, because then the one wheel will be in the furrow. Likewise, on your last round, when you are finishing a dead furrow, the other wheel will drop lower than normal, and you will have to adjust the depth again. If you don't, you will gouge out too deep a dead furrow.

Pull-type plows require a special clevis to attach them properly to the tractor drawbar. The clevis is first bolted to the tmctor drawbar; then the tractor is backed up to the plow tongue, and the clevis is pushed into the hooded plow hitch until it latches—you can hear the click. If you are alone, with no way to lift the plow hitch up in line with the clevis so you can back tlie tractor into it, you wi'I learn how to stop at just the precise distance from the plcw hitch, get off the tractor, lift the hitch or push down on it, and force it into the clevis.

The reason for the somewhat complex riiuLing ¡¡¡v4 l.ri.iiiiii a pull-type plow is to keep the plow from breaking should you hit a root or stone underground. When that haj.

The plow hitch is '.sen here ]ust before it is coupled lo the tli'vis.

pens, ihc joit makes the hush fiy open automatically, and the plow, unhitched, slops immediately, saving mam repair jobs.

For that, same reason, don't tie the trip rope too tightly to the tractor seat. I.oop it through a weak, hook oi wire so that il the plow Kmit's loose, the rope will too. Also, leave plenty of slack in the rope so that it doesn't tighten up and trip the plow when you are turning at the end of the field.

Because oi the way a plow works, you can't just root the soil tip any way you please. A

plow lifts (he soil from one plate and deposits il eight to twelve inches to the side of its original position. The ditch that is left is railed a furrow. After the first pass across the garden or (ii'ld, the furrow ditch is there to ib>'ow the dirt into from the second furrow and so forth. When you are finished plowing, you will have at least one furrow left over. This is called a dead furrow. Naturally, (he first time you plow across the field or garden, you do not have a furrow already there. .So the dirt turned over by the plow blade falls on the normal soil sur

face, leaving a ridge of dirt. This ridge is called a headland. The art of plowing demands that in subsequent years of plowing, you make your headlands fall where last year's dead furrows were, and East year's headlands then become this year's dead furrows. If you don't do that, your field will become less level every year.

(iontmoidy, nioldboard plows are oue-wav plows, but two-way plows are made, and thev are often called hillside or reversible plows. A

two-way plow has two sets of plows, one above the other. At the end of the furrow, the operator can (tip the two over, so the top will swing down in plowing position and the bottom will swing-up out of the way. He or she can then proceed to plow- back in the same furrow just made, which would be impossible with a one-way plow. The two-way plow eliminates dead furrows and headlands and is very handy when plowing terraces or contours on hillside land.

For 14 and IS h.p, garden tractors equipped with category 0 three-point hitch, the lirinly-Hardy 12-inch mold-board plow features an adjustable gauge wheel with scraper to control plow depth in varying soil conditions; a throwaway share for lower replacement costs, 11-inch adjustable coulter, and adjustments for landing and width of cut. Brinly-Haixlv Co.

A line of maldboard plows may be used with either the spring trip or as a shear-pin type plow. Coulter blades and gauge wheels are available as optional equipment. Plow models include a one-bottom 16-inch plow, a two-boHom 12-inch plow, or a two-bottom II-inch plow.

Independent Mfg. Co

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Organic Gardeners Composting

Have you always wanted to grow your own vegetables but didn't know what to do? Here are the best tips on how to become a true and envied organic gardner.

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