Highly productive soils that are growing massive amounts of crops have got their own equipment for maximizing yields.
For farming operations that want fast germination, emergence and growth for large yields, engineers at Krause, part of Kuhn North America located in Brodhead, Wis., have updated the Dominator tillage tool.
The Kuhn Krause Dominator 4856, a fall-application tool, will be available for the fall of 2019.
“We have a lot of different applications, but the primary application for the Dominator 4856 is going to be in a cropping system where you have a large amount of residue, and/or subsoil compaction could be a limiting factor in getting the full yield potential of the crop,” said Gary Johnson, Krause senior product manager, in Hutchinson, Kan.
Krause equipment is marketed throughout North America, but this particular tool will be used primarily to break up any compaction that heavy machinery has caused – or possibly tillage tools have made over the years – to fracture the subsoil.
“It also makes the ground more adapted to water intake, so you can recharge your subsoil and raise your moisture levels over the winter months,” Johnson said.
Designed with lots of hydraulic equipment options, a fully equipped Dominator uses five hydraulic circuits.
The front coulters use a constant flow hydraulic system. This provides continuous oil flow for uniform pressure and resistance to the coulter gangs – to cut through heavy and tough residue – even in varying soil types.
“With the constant flow, we get a much more positive cut to the residue, and get it sized properly so it can be fed through the shank portion of the tool without dragging up longer stalks that haven’t been completely cut,” he said.
The tool is available in 7-, 9-, 11- and 13-shank configurations that allow 8- to 16-inch deep subsoil tillage.
“You’re probably going to be looking on average at 40-45 engine horsepower per shank,” he said. The faster it is pulled and the deeper the subsoiling, the more horsepower is needed.
The 4856 maintains a proven dual rank 18-inch shank spacing to deliver maximum subsoil fracture. Shanks are a minimum of 36 inches apart on each of the two toolbars to allow plenty of room for residue flow.
The shank configurations provide consistent residue sizing, aggressive subsoil compaction management, and tilled soil.
Double K 7-inch wing ripper points are standard equipment. These chromium carbide casting points offer double the life compared to many other points out there.
With the back attachments on the tool, such as the reel or disc conditioner on the back of the machine, the farmer can accelerate the breakdown of residue. This provides for good soil-to-residue contact.
“That not only gives good soil-to-residue contact for faster breakdown, but we want to uniformly distribute the residue to reduce problems when you come back in, in the spring time with the secondary tillage operations,” he said.
“We want that residue to be broken down, redistributed so that your tillage tool in the spring isn’t likely to have any problem getting through any of that heavy residue.”
A newly designed “reverse-tandem” rear disc conditioner produces consistent soil leveling, clod sizing and uniform residue incorporation resulting in pass-to-pass seedbed consistency. Also hydraulically controlled, the conditioner can be raised or lowered to the point where leveling and residue coverage can be managed.
The original Dominator had an offset disc conditioner – the front row of blades pulled the soil one way, while the rear rank of blades pushed the soil the opposite way. With the new reverse-tandem design, the tool pulls in with the front rank of blades and pushes out with the back rank of blades. At the same time, half of the rear disc conditioners are pulling from the right, and half of the disc conditioners are pulling from the left side.
“It helps us to get a better mix of the residue with the soil out the back of the machine,” he said. “We have one of the more aggressive conditioners on the rear of the machine. The pass-to-pass performance is very uniform. You can’t really see where you start and stop with the edge of the tool. It does a good job of blending the residue.”
This allows for a high quality leveling processing out the back end of the 4856 Dominator.
Krause offers an “expanded weather window” with this tool. A hydraulic lift available on the back of the machine allows the driver to raise the rear reel out of the ground and continue working.
Despite the many technical features, usually once the tool is set and adjusted for the conditions, a less experienced driver can operate it using autosteer functioning. The tool will need to be raised and lowered to engage and disengage tillage.
Johnson said the Dominator 4856 is designed for use in continuous corn or corn/soybean rotations for managing high residue. It is also used for potato or sugarbeet production where large, heavy harvesting equipment could lead to compaction. The Dominator could be run on wheat ground when it’s important to open the soil up and shatter deep subsoil compaction to free up nutrients.
“A lot of customers want the seedbed to be level enough that when they come back in the spring with a secondary tillage machine, they can usually make just one pass and get everything leveled and worked the way they need it prior to planting, especially with a corn crop,” he said. “It helps reduce the number of trips over the field.”
Johnson added that deep tillage tools take horsepower, fuel, iron and time, but in some cases, this will offer the ideal situation for growing the next year’s crops.
“You’ve got the ground fractured, you’ve got it ready to absorb as much moisture as is available to it, and the water is going to go down and recharge that subsoil,” he said. “At the same time you’re releasing a lot of nutrient value in the breaking down of the residue and so forth of the prior crop that is going to be available for that new crop to use.”