Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 19, 2004
Publication Date: November 2, 2004
Citation: Raper, R.L., Simionescu, P.A., Kornecki, T.S., Price, A.J., Reeves, D.W. 2004. Reducing vibration while maintaining efficacy of rollers to terminate cover crops. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 20(5):581-584. Interpretive Summary: Cover crops have been shown to provide beneficial results for crop production and environmental protection; however, they can interfere with proper cash crop establishment and growth. For this reason, cover crops are typically killed with chemicals prior to planting the cash crop. Rollers may provide a valuable alternative to chemicals for killing cover crops with the added incentive of providing a flat, unidirectional mat of residue cover for planting into. However, many producers have reported that when they used rollers, they found an excessive amount of vibration was transmitted back to the tractor. Two alternative blade systems, a curved blade system and a short-staggered straight blade system, were tested and were found to have decreased vibration from the standard long-straight blade system typically found on rollers. This information can be used by producers and implement manufacturers to create a better implement that will enhance the use of conservation systems for row-crop production.
Technical Abstract: Rollers may provide a valuable alternative to chemicals for terminating a cover crop. Several producers are now using versions that they have made or have purchased. Most of these producers, however, complain about excessive vibration that is caused by the roller passing over the cover crop. To avoid this excessive vibration, they must limit their operational speed. Experiments were performed to determine if two alternative designs for the blades of the rollers would decrease vibration while maintaining the ability to kill a cover crop. Results showed that a curved blade system or a short-staggered straight blade system significantly reduced vibration as compared to the standard long-straight blade system typically found on rollers. These two alternative blade systems were also found to kill the cover crop as effectively as the long-straight blade system.