Volunteer rape and rape stubble are sources of crop rotation diseases and should be handled with the greatest care. The new CrossCutter Disc cuts and crushes rape stubble quickly and cost-effectively immediately after the harvest, at the same time encouraging volunteer rape to germinate.
Rape stubble is in itself a source of diseases and pests. Phoma is one of the diseases that causes most damage in rape. The disease forms spores in the stubble and harvest residues of rape, and these can spread up to eight kilometres and infect newly sown rape fields. By crushing and dispersing the stubble and the upper part of the root immediately after harvest, the risk of the fungal disease spreading is reduced.
Carrier with CrossCutter Disc
Harvest residues offer protection for snails
Snails hatch during the summer and mature in order to hibernate as mature adults. Snails require moisture in order to survive and they like to take cover in cavities that are formed in a lumpy structure or among harvest residues that can create a moist environment. One way of controlling snails is therefore to spread and cut up the harvest residues immediately after harvest, so that the surface of the soil dries up, and soil cultivation does not create cavities in which snails can find refuge. A Carrier with a straw harrow, CrossCutter Disc and a steel roller solves the issue of stubble and harvest residues. Furthermore, any cavities in the soil are compressed.
Cabbage root fly a growing problem
Another problem facing rape farmers is the cabbage root fly. Ahead of 2014, a number of neonicotinoids used as seed dressing in, among others, winter rape were banned within the EU. This had disastrous consequences in autumn 2014 in many places, where fields had to be re-drilled because of heavy attacks of cabbage root fly. It is the third generation of cabbage root fly that attacks the roots of newly established rape plants. Cultivating the soil and destroying the volunteer rape breaks down this insect's food chain. The correlation has been proven in field trials in Germany, where stubble cultivation using disc tools reduced the population of cabbage root flies by up to 65 per cent. More effective soil cultivation with the CrossCutter Disc will probably have an even better controlling effect.
Three passes are usual
Three passes are usual after the harvest on farms that specialise in winter rape. The first pass immediately after the harvest spreads straw, crushes stubble and unthreshed rape pods lying on the ground, and creates the conditions for volunteer rape to germinate. The second pass takes place when the volunteer rape has 2-3 leaves, and this is when the plants are buried, and at the same time the stubble is pulverised and new seeds are given the conditions to germinate. A third pass takes place with a cultivator that goes deeper, burying volunteer rape and weeds that have germinated, at the same time opening tracks and preparing the field for drilling, explains Magnus Samuelsson.
Close-up of CrossCutter Disc
Time can be tight during the harvest, but with the Carrier CrossCutter Disc large areas can be cultivated in a short time and newly threshed fields can be cultivated in the morning before it's time to get into the harvester once more, says Magnus Samuelsson.
The Carrier with a CrossCutter Disc is driven at speeds up to 20 kph, and the ultra-shallow cultivation means that there is modest traction power, resulting in very low diesel consumption.
Carrier 820 with CrossCutter Disc
Flexible front tools
If there are large volumes of harvest residues, it is useful to have a straw harrow as a front tool in order to spread them and create ideal conditions for volunteer rape to germinate. If, on the other hand, weeds are a problem in the first pass, it is better to have a CrossCutter Knife as a front tool, as this intensifies the dispersal and also contributes to further crushing the stubble.
Has driven thousands of hectares
The Carrier with a CrossCutter Disc has been driven thousands of hectares by various farmers since 2013. The results and the comments have been extremely positive, explains Magnus Samuelsson.