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Tough Agrico ripper till deeper for higher profit

One can see with the naked eye that this implement is manufactured for hard, unstinting and dependable toil. The Agrico T1000 soil ripper works up to 450 mm deep on the lands of Louwschem Boerdery, the farm of Lourens van der Merwe.

This post is also available in: Afrikaans

Many farmers rely on Agrico, a well-known and dependable name in the centre pivot irrigation farming industry, although Agrico also is also almost better known for its exemplary service to farmers, and more so for their tough locally manufactured implements. The Agrico T1000 series soil ripper is one of their flagship products.

Lourens van der Merwe is a Free State farmer in the Reitz district on the farm Driehoek (Eng: Triangle). This region is known as ‘Die Riemland’ and is famous for its grain production. BUT: It is also known for its soil type which tends to form compaction layers. That is why Lourens and his farm manager, Lukie du Plessis, believes in ripping their lands every year.

Louw and Lukie, together with VKB, did some tests with various soil rippers. It was the result of these tests that made them decide on the AGRICO T1000 ripper.

What gives the T1000 the advantage is the fact that it is made with one of the strongest beams on the market. This means that fewer crossbars are required to support the structure and this gives the farmer more freedom to make adjustments with different tine spaces. On Driehoek Lukie uses an 11-tine T1000 with tines spaced 350 mm apart.

“It rips to a depth of 450 mm to break up the compacted plough sole. One of the advantages of the Agrico T1000 is die excellent flow of material between the tines, which prevents clogging” explains Paul Burger of Agrico.

This huge rock was dislodged and removed on the farm of Japie van Zyl with the T1000 without any damage to the soil ripper itself.

This is due to the tine spacing, as well as the 1 000 mm ground clearance of the Agrico T1000. The tilling is more effective as no material clings to the tines or becomes caught between the tines and the beam, making it unnecessary to stop every now and then to remove the build-up.

The advantage of ripper tillage is the fact that it makes it easier for rainwater to penetrate the soil, simultaneously combatting soil erosion. “By making it possible for rain water to penetrate deeper into the soil means that plants are able to survive for longer periods between rain showers,” says Lukie.

This also promotes lateral root growth of crops, enabling the plants to be in a better shape to absorb both moisture and nutrients. The ideal working depth of the Agrico T1000 soil ripper is between 400 mm en 630 mm depending on conditions and the method of tilling.

The T1000 has the highest breakaway force in its class. When the tines break away continuously, it is normally a sign that the soil is too hard to be ploughed effectively with a ripper. The big clods that form under such circumstances hamper the operation of the planter. Then it is wise to rather wait for the rain.

The T1000 is available in a three point hitch or a towing model and can have from three to 21 tines. The design of the straight ripper share, combined with the high ground clearance of the beam, ensures good stubble movement and prevents clogging. Every share is bolted at two points, preventing the shares from falling off during tilling. The T1000 is the only implement in its class with rebound shock absorbers, which ensures a long life.

Agrico recommends that the farmer allow 25 kW tractor power per tine, but Louw van der Merwe is op the opinion that he can get away with less as his lands are tilled every year with the ripper, making it easier every year to cultivate the lands. Louw fitted a roller behind the tines to determine the working depth and leave an attractive, even seedbed.

“I am impressed with the ease of re-adjusting these rollers. It does not require a day’s labour with a bunch of workers to change the settings,” says Lukie. “I was also much impressed by the long life of the bearings on the rollers. I have only had to replace one roller bearing on 1 850 hectare.

ProAgri was, in fact, present and could witness how the rollers were quickly re-adjusted right there on the land within minutes by simply removing three spikes and replacing them in different locations.

Paul Burger and Christo Hepburn of Agrico, and Lukie du Plessis of Louwschem Boerdery, critically assess the sturdy construction of the Agrico T1000 soil ripper.

Lukie made three brief points stating his preference for the Agrico T1000:

● Resistance against clogging due to excellent material flow between tines;

● The ease when adjusting the position of the tines; and

● The big depth at which the ripper performs with ease.

For further information, contact Alfred Andrag on 082-824-1214 or 021-950-4111 or feel free to send an email message to Alfred.andrag@agrico.co.za.

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