Saturday, 22 October 2016 14:55

Cultivation well covered

Written by  Mark Daniel
The Alpego subsoiler provides an ideal one-pass solution for seedbed penetration, as well as fixing damaged and pugged ground. The Alpego subsoiler provides an ideal one-pass solution for seedbed penetration, as well as fixing damaged and pugged ground.

Well known for making power harrows, rotary hoes, sub-soilers, mulchers and combination drills, Alpego has for 45 years used Swedish steel in delivering machines of high quality and durability.

Imported by distributor Origin Agroup, one machine proving increasingly popular in New Zealand is the RotoPick rotary cultivator. This provides an ideal one-pass solution for seedbed penetration, fixing damaged pugged ground after winter grazing, sowing spring or summer feed crops and re-grassing in autumn.

A series of straight knives bolted to flanges laid out in a helix fashion along the rotor result in smooth, vibration-free operation.

The knives cut and slice the soil, using a special curvature at the tip to penetrate hard ground and mix the soil. The resultant finish is said to create a pan-free base ensuring air and moisture freely move throughout the soil structure.

When fitted with a broadcast seeder it is possible to re-grass or sow fodder crops in a single pass.

A unique centre-drive gearbox has fewer moving parts, lower power requirement, gives extra support to the rotor and, importantly, is a step beyond the commonly seen side gearbox layout which can limit ground penetration and create ridging.

All RotoPicks have a rear leveling bar attached to the rear roller by means of a parallelogram linkage, which ensures the seed bed is left perfectly level behind the machine. It can work independently of the machine and the tractor, back filling any irregular ground contours, resulting in a level surface for planting; it also prevents ridges from forming when lifting out of work on headlands.

For the coming season, a newly launched sub-soiler called the Alpego Craker builds on the tried and tested merits of enhanced drainage and higher worm counts to promote more vigorous and higher yielding crops.

During development, engineers noticed that many sub-soilers left an uneven surface and in some cases were not able to go deep enough to penetrate the compacted pan layer to achieve the best results. Alpego claim to have overcome these problems with legs that enter the surface of the ground at an optimal angle, allowing the assemblies to punch through the compacted pan with less energy, and to a depth of up to 600mm, with little mixing of the heavier subsoil and topsoil, leaving the soil profile intact.

Craker is supplied with Franter double-spiked rear rollers which counter rotate against each other for a tilling effect on surface clods, resulting in a level finish, moisture retention and a part-cultivated top profile, prior to final cultivations and drilling. The cracking effect of the sub-soiler is said to lead to increased moisture availability in a dry season and improved drainage in wet times.

Models are available from 2.5 to 5.0m working widths, with a choice of 500mm or 600mm legs and shear bolt or hydraulic auto reset protection. Power requirement is 80-500hp. 

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