Submitted to: ASAE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/12/2006
Publication Date: 7/18/2005
Citation: Kornecki, T.S., Price, A.J., Raper, R.L. 2005. New roller concept for cover crops termination. ASAE Annual International Meeting. CDROM
Technical Abstract: Cover crops are a vital part of conservation systems, but they must be managed appropriately to get their full benefit. These benefits include reduced weed pressure and improved soil properties, such as plant available moisture. Properly terminating cover crops prior to planting of the cash crop is imperative to prevent competition for valuable soil moisture. Chemical termination has been the method most used by American producers for killing cover crops. However, using a mechanical method such as rolling/crimping may offer several advantages including crimping and flattening the cover crop prior to planting the cash crop. Rolling provides effective mechanical termination comparable with chemical methods if it is conducted at the appropriate time. Mechanical rollers are now being introduced for use in conservation systems but high vibration and low operating speeds associated with current roller design prevents wide adoption of this cover crop termination method. To improve the roller’s performance and reduce vibration, a new concept that includes of a smooth roller with a crimping arm was developed. An experiment was designed to determine the optimum operating speed and the maximum termination rate for rye (Secale cereale L.) by the smooth roller. Comparisons were made between several new roller designs for termination rate, speed of operation, and vibration levels in spring 2005. Preliminary data showed that excessive vibration associated with the original roller design with long blunt bars would not allow operating speed to exceed 3.2 km/h. However, one of the new designs allowed the operating speed to be doubled as compared to the original roller while providing a similar termination rate of cover crop (>90%).