VIDEO: Benefits to Using a Vertical Tillage Tool

September 16, 2020 8:22 AM
Blog Post

Vertical tillage (VT) tools can be an effective way to maintain residue and prevent soil erosion while still preparing the soil for planting.  When you select a vertical tillage tool for your operation, consider these factors:

1. Types of blades

In areas with wet, heavy soil where you may need to move additional soil, a blade with some concavity will be most effective. In highly erodible ground, you can use lower concavity blades to maintain the roots of the residue. 

2. Gang angle and adjustability

VT tillage aggressiveness is driven by the gang angle of the implement.  Adjustable VT tools allow you to change the aggressiveness of the tool to meet your goals and adapt to changes in field conditions. 

3. Rear attachments

Baskets and rollers can be attached to the rear of the VT tool to level and firm the soil surface. This also traps residue in the soil surface so it isn’t lost through wind erosion.

VT tools are designed to run at faster speeds, ideally 8 to 12 miles per hour. Depending on your terrain, you may need additional horsepower for effective tillage. We recommend a minimum of 10 horsepower per operating foot of your VT tool to provide the best results, and increasing that to 15 to 20 horsepower if the terrain in the field is challenging.

Authors: 

Ryan Bergman Program Coordinator in Ag Technology

Ryan Bergman is a Program Coordinator in Ag Technology at Iowa State University where he is part of a 20+ person research team focusing on precision agriculture, big data, telematics, data analytics, aerial imagery, and ag machinery automation. Ryan has received both his bachelor’s and mas...