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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pendleton, Oregon » Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #159215


item Siemens, Mark
item Correa, Robert

Submitted to: Patent Application
Publication Type: Patent Application
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/10/2000
Publication Date: 2/26/2002

Interpretive Summary: Adoption of conservation tillage systems in the Pacific Northwest lags behind that of the United States, due in part to the lack of trouble-free seeding equipment for planting into heavy crop residue. Commercial shank- and disc- type no-till drills were developed for low residue conditions and for crops planted in wide rows. In heavy crop residue or when row spacing is narrow, shank-type drills tend to rake the residue and cause drill plugging. Disc-type openers are prone to pushing the crop residue into the seed zone or they may ride over the crop residue and deposit seed on the soil surface which results in poor stand establishment. To overcome this problem, a residue management wheel was developed to allow a hoe-type no-till drill to handle large amounts of crop residue and improve drill performance. The patent pending device is designed to attach to hoe-type drills and is positioned next to the furrow opening shank. When seeding, the ground driven rubber fingered wheel pins crop residue to the soil surface, preventing it from building up on the shank and seed tube. The invention was evaluated in Northeastern Oregon and found to increase seedling stand establishment of winter canola by 44-53%, spring barley by 24%, mustard by 41, lupin by 9%, spring wheat by 15-16%, and winter wheat by 17-20% as compared to the standard drill without residue management wheels. Use of the residue management wheel also increased the yield of winter canola by 8-11%, spring barley by 3%, mustard by 5%, lupin by 8%, spring wheat by 1-6%, and winter wheat by up to 8%. By increasing yield, utilizing the device should increase the profitability and adoption of soil and water conservation farming practices.

Technical Abstract: When planting into crop residue densities that exceed 5000 lb/ac, hoe-type no-till grain drills are prone to plugging causing operator frustration and reducing field capacity. They also tend to cause large clumps of residue to form, which cover the seed row and choke out young seedlings. This patent application discloses and describes a device designed to improve the residue handling capabilities and performance of hoe-type no-till drills. The present invention consists of a fingered rubber wheel, a rubber inner ring, and a spring-loaded arm. The unit is designed to attach to the tool bar of hoe-type no-till drills and positioned next to the furrow opening shank. When seeding, the ground driven rubber fingered wheel and inner ring pin crop residue to ground surface and prevent residue from lodging on furrow opener. The fingered wheel and inner ring also act as a shield and prevent soil disturbed by the furrow-opening device from being thrown out of the seed furrow. The adjustable spring-loaded arm is able to pivot about the vertical and horizontal axes and provides a downward force to keep the fingered wheel in contact with the ground surface. The patent document provides a detailed description of the device, including its operation. The document also contains results from evaluation studies conducted at various locations in Northeastern Oregon during the 2000 crop year. These experiments showed that use of the residue management wheel significantly improved drill performance in terms of seedling stand establishment for a variety of crops including winter wheat, winter canola, spring barley, lupin, mustard and spring wheat. Increases in stand establishment ranged from 9-53 percent, depending on crop type seeded and test site location.