Submitted to: Southern Conservation Tillage Systems Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2006
Publication Date: 6/26/2006
Citation: Kornecki, T.S., Price, A.J., Raper, R.L., Stoll, Q.M. 2006. Effectiveness of different roller designs on managing rye as a cover crop in no-till cotton. In: Proceedings of the 28th Annual Southern Conservation Systems Conference. p. 151-161.
Interpretive Summary: Cover crops that produce a large amount of biomass are essential components of no till technology, although, they must be managed appropriately, so as not to create planting problems for producers. One effective method to manage tall cover crops such as rye is to roll down and crimp those covers using rollers/crimpers. However, adaptation of rollers by U.S. producers is low because at higher speed rollers generate large vibrations. To keep vibrations down producers must lower operating speed which is not acceptable because of increased time of rolling operation. We conducted field experiments with the original roller and a new roller concept to determine if we can reduce vibrations generated by the new roller at higher speeds while maintaining effective termination rates. Three-section 14-ft wide straight bar roller and the new smooth roller design with crimping bar were compared. Results showed that both roller types effectively terminated rye at rates above 94% for two growing seasons without using herbicides. The new smooth roller with crimping bar effectively lowered vibration at the tractor’s frame compared to straight bar roller and these vibrations were below harmful limits as determined by International Standards Office, thus improved comfort to the operator. Future study will include a cost comparison between the original straight bar roller and the new smooth roller with crimper.
Technical Abstract: The effect of speed on cover crop (rye, Secale cereale L.) termination rate, vibration level and cotton yield was tested for two roller designs during the 2004-2005 growing season. In 2004, two roller designs, a triple-section straight bar roller (4.1 m wide) and a smooth roller/crimper, were evaluated at speeds of 3.2 and 6.4 km/h. In 2005, in addition to two rollers tested in 2004, a modified smooth roller/crimper was also tested. Cover termination and cotton yield were recorded. In 2004, higher rye termination rates resulted from the straight bar roller (96%) in comparison with the smooth roller/crimper (94%). Three weeks after rolling, both rollers had effectively terminated rye without use of herbicides. The smooth roller/crimper transferred lower vibration levels to the tractor’s frame than the straight bar roller at both speeds. In 2004, no differences in cotton yield were found between roller types, speeds, and chemical treatment (glyphosate) except for lower cotton yield observed with the smooth roller/crimper at the lower speed of 3.2 km/hour. In 2005, higher cotton yield was reported for straight bar roller + glyphosate application in comparison with the original smooth roller/crimper at 3.2 km/h and the modified smooth roller/crimper at 6.4 km/h. Increase in roller operating speed did not affect cotton yield.