02/06/2014 Manage Heavy Residues with Challenger’s New Vertical Tillage Tools
Grubbenvorst, Netherlands (2 June, 2014) — Challenger, a worldwide brand of AGCO (NYSE: AGCO), announced that the latest farm machinery introductions for Eastern European markets are seven new models in the 6631 Series vertical tillage system.
“The primary purpose of vertical tillage is to cut and chop tough crop residue into consistent size, then mix it into the very topmost soil to help the residue start to break down,” explains Cameron McKenzie, Challenger Seeding & Tillage Manager. “Vertical tillage refers to the fact that the soil is worked in a ‘vertical’ format where water and nutrients move up and down the soil profile, rather than in a ‘horizontal’ manner where a stratification layer of dense soil can be created which may interfere with early root growth.”
“The 6631 Series machines deliver tough, reliable cutting power designed to help farmers efficiently manage heavy residue and prepare ideal seedbeds. The blade design and gang angle offer effective cutting and mixing action for residue breakdown but also ‘tie’ residue to the soil and create a surface that resists wind and water erosion,” he adds.
The seven new models offer ‘true cutting widths’ from 6.22m (20 ft 5 in) to 10.59m (34 ft 9 in), and join the two previous models at 9.93m (32 ft 7 in) and 11.40m (37 ft 5 in) to fit almost any size of farming operation.
The 6631 Series combines the exclusive Saber Blade™ disc blades and effective, staggered offset disc gang design in machines that slice through heavy maize residues with ease, cutting and sizing residue and efficiently penetrating the soil. The Saber Blades feature an innovative edge that is fluted the full cutting depth of the blade, designed to stay sharp and cut residue long after standard blades become dull. The 558.8 mm (22 inch) low-concavity blades are set at an 18-degree gang angle on 191 mm (7 1/2-inch) spacing to cut and mix residue with just the right amount of soil to help start the decomposition process. Each blade has 25 flutes and the serrated, ‘sawtooth’ edge works soil very efficiently.
“Vertical tillage is also an excellent spring tillage practice, helping to open cold, damp soils to absorb sunlight and help soils dry for planting,” continues Cameron. “To create an ideal seedbed, consistent performance across the entire width of the machine is essential. The Challenger 6631 is designed to provide just that, so producers get consistent emergence to optimise yields.”
The 6631 Series incorporates many of Challenger’s proven design features to ensure consistent machine performance and long life. The new three-section models offer 22 degrees of wing flex, 10 up and 12 down, to hug uneven fields. In addition, frames ride on heavy-duty walking tandems that float over uneven field surfaces, maintaining consistent depth and tillage action front to rear. A heavy-duty ‘A-frame’ offers two-position drawbar adjustment to match the tractor drawbar height for level operation and optimum fuel efficiency.
Lengthening the 6631 Series frame has enhanced the tools’ ability to cut through and size very heavy residue without plugging. In addition, by accurately balancing the frame, the engineers have built a machine that can handle heavy attachments typical of vertical tillage. Three options in finishing reels are available to provide the final touch that breaks clods, disperses root wads and lightly compresses the soil surface to firm the seedbed and help conserve moisture.
“We built this machine with strength and structural durability in mind - to be a machine our customers can rely on to get the job done efficiently for years to come,” says Cameron. “It features a heavy mainframe along with many maintenance-free components to ensure longevity.”
The tough, durable mainframe will meet the demands of arduous tillage conditions. Low-maintenance features include ultra-high molecular-weight (UHMW) plastic bearings and bushings throughout the machine’s lift and fold systems to eliminate metal-to-metal contact and wear, as well as the time and expense of grease and regular service.