The Carrier disc cultivator – innovation in the toolbox

The Carrier disc cultivator

Carrier was first drawn up on a French tablecloth. Around the year 2000, ideas and requests started to come in from France that Väderstad should develop a new tool for shallow and intensive cultivation. The inspiration partly came from Rapid’s successful front tool, System Disc.

Now was the time

Disc harrows had seen their heyday come and go and were, by this time, considered too heavy and slow. They were left behind by cultivators, but there was a need for a new tool for the minimum tillage practise that was on the rise. On site in France, I sat down to have lunch one day with our long-time employee Joël Plançon. We started sketching out a new tool and before the meal was over, we had the first basic features of Carrier on the tablecloth and some napkins in front us.

Criss-cross cultivation

The goal was to achieve a smooth and shallow cultivation at high speed with a precise mix of crop residues, followed by reconsolidation to allow for rapid germination of leftover seeds and weeds. The determined cultivation is a result of the cultivation being carried out in two rows at a 90-degree angle – the discs in the 1st row throw the soil sideways while the 2nd row discs hurl the soil back. A CrossBoard simultaneously pushes the soil forward. This collaboration results in a charged mixture of soil and crop residues and a very good levelling of the field.

Ultra-shallow becomes possible

When Carrier was first shown to them, our European competitors shook their heads because they felt that the machine would never amount to anything. Today, however, there are 100 manufacturers that have copied Väderstad’s Carrier. I have a lot of faith in our latest addition of discs – the CrossCutter Disc. This allows for something in that was not previously possible to achieve in crop production: An ultra-shallow tillage that leaves the top 2-3cm fully cultivated. The secret is the waffled disc which at high speed almost mills the soil on the ground’s surface and mixes it with crop residues. In that environment there is no excuse for leftover seeds and weeds not to germinate unless they happen to be dormant.

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