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Strip-Till Machine Made From Grain Cart and Planter Bar

After searching for years at trade shows, on implement dealer lots and over the internet for usable parts, Mike Hermanson found the components he needed to build a rugged, high performing strip-till machine. The Story City Iowa farmer used tool bars from a corn planter, the frame from a grain cart, custom built Soil Warrior TM row units from Environmental Tillage Systems and fertilizer components from Montag Manufacturing.

The result is a slick and sturdy ‘made-it-myself’ machine that breezes through 20-in. rows of standing cornstalks or bean stubble at 7 to 8 mph. His 12-row machine produces beautiful 10-in. deep by 10-in. wide zones and applies fertilizer in a single pass. Even more impressive to Hermanson is the fact that his homemade rig worked in all types of soil and weather conditions during the fall of 2006.

“I’ve been wanting to use strip tillage for several years,” says Hermanson, “but I was never satisfied that the machines out there would work in tough conditions. Last summer I watched the Soil Warrior row units with 28-in. deep tillage coulters work on a demo machine in standing corn stalks and heavy sod and figured they would work for me.”

Hermanson ordered 12 Soil Warrior row units for early fall delivery. His idea for a caddy started with an old grain cart. With the tank, hydraulics and PTO mechanism removed, the 4 by 8-in. box beam frame with 30.5 by 32 tires provided a strong foundation. He added an 8-in. I beam on each side and across the center for additional support. The 20-ft. wide bar to hold the row units was made from two 7-in. sq. tool bars from an old planter that were welded together with 9 inch spacers. About 3,000 pounds of angle iron were put inside the bars for extra ballast. This double strength bar was mated into two sets of lift arms with four 4 inch and two 5 inch cylinders for raising and lowering.

The Soil Warrior row units easily mounted on the back bar and the entire mechanism can be tilted forward or back to create greater down pressure, or raised 4 ft. in the air for lubrication and maintenance. Pneumatic springs on each row unit are pressurized by an air compressor that’s powered by a hydraulic motor. Pressure can be regulated from 0 to 60 lbs. at the tractor to maintain a constant depth on the row units.

Hermanson purchased a 6-ton dry fertilizer tank from Montag Manufacturing and mounted it on the main cart frame. The tank has a fan-powered distribution system that blows fertilizer behind the deep tillage coulter on each of the 12 row units. The entire rig weighs about 10 tons empty and carries 6 tons of fertilizer.

“I was real pleased with the results on stalks and stubble this fall,” says Hermanson. Even with the 28-in. Soil Warrior coulters penetrating 10 in., his 9400T Deere with Auto Steer was pulling the machine between 7 and 8 mph. In the spring, Hermanson will make a shallow tillage pass over the same zones with a triple coulter system and plant. “I don’t see any reason why this won’t work,” says Hermanson, “and the best part yet is that fuel and time costs are less then stalk chopping and chisel plowing in the fall, followed by field cultivating in the spring.”

For more information: Mike Hermanson, 12342 Hillcrest Drive, Story City, Iowa (ph 515-733-4582); Soil Warrior Environmental Tillage Systems, 16936 Cannon City Blvd., Faribault, Minn. 55021 (ph 507-332-223); or Montag Manufacturing, 4335 560th Ave., West Bend, Iowa 50597 (ph 515-887-6723; www.montafmfg.com).


*** The article is reprinted with permission from Farm Show (www.farmshow.com)



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Montag Manufacturing, Inc.
  3816 461St. Ave.    Emmetsburg, IA 50536M
Phone: 712-852-4572   Fax: 712-852-4574
info@montagmfg.com