Tillage tutelage

MARSHALL – New and improved farm machinery was on display at the annual Titan Machinery tractor demo Wednesday. Area farmers converged upon a field on the north side of Marshall to view how Titan’s new tilling machinery works and its results in the field.

“We invite all of our area customers and competitive customers to get out in the field and see what it’s all about,” said Titan Machinery store manager Lucas Hilgemann. “We are doing primary tillage to show off our tillage tool and what it does.”

Jim Vandamme farms near Lynd and came to the demo because he is looking for new tilling equipment.

“We have one similar to this model,” Vandamme said. He came out because he was interested in the one-pass benefit of the new tillers in the field. The equipment on display cuts the topsoil, uses rippers to break the hard pan and then puts the dirt back over the top all in one pass, cutting and leveling the soil so it holds in nutrients during the winter.

Greg Brown was also in attendance and said he had recently bought one of the tillers on display for his farm near Montevideo. Brown said he came out “to learn how to set these rippers.” He wanted to get a better idea of how to run the machinery as he will be using it with corn stalks this fall.

Representatives from Titan drove quadtrac tractors, pulling the new tilling equipment through a recently harvested wheat field as farmers observed the machine’s effects on the soil. Titan was also demonstrating the benefits of a quadtrac tractor that helps reduce soil compaction by more evenly dispersing the weight of the tractor. Hilgemann said the new tilling equipment is “agronomically designed” to mix just enough dirt with the organic residue and any remaining fertilizer, so next spring farmers just need to do one tillage pass before they plant.

“In the spring, you want that seed to be able to pop right out without compaction,” Hilgemann said as he explained how fields and farmers will benefit from the lighter touch of the quadtrac tractors and the efficiency of the new tillers that will save time, fuel and fertilizer.

Demonstrations on how to set the depth of the rippers and how to determine how deep to dig were also given. Hilgemann said “some guys dig too deep so we teach fuel-saving measures and show how deep to dig.”

“We wanted to show our tillage product off because it’s not just about putting the crop in the field and pulling the crop out,” Hilgemann said. “You need to prepare the field for next year. Agronomics is what it’s about.