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On a knife‘s edge: Cultro TC

With the double knife roller Cultro TC HORSCH launched a new machine line right in time for the Agritechnica. The range of use covers all tasks from an extremely shallow cultivation of rape stubbles to the incorporation of catch crops.

For a start the Cultro TC will be available in three and twelve metre working width. What both machines have in common is the double knife roller. When the machine was developed, service life was given top priority. Six close-fitting knives are arranged on a closed shaft with a diameter of 300 mm. This well-proven design was copied from the knife roller of the Joker RT. The strain on the individual knives can be controlled in a better way as the forces are transferred to the main tube and the knives cannot flex. These characteristics guarantee a long service life even in extreme conditions, e.g. on dry and stony soils.
The double knife roller is designed as a tandem and connected in the middle with the main frame via a rubber bearing. Three-metre wide elements are used that can adapt to the unevenness of the soil in an optimum way.

The Cultro 3 TC with an effective working width of 2.90 m is a 3-point tool that can be attached at the front or at the rear of the tractor. If it is attached at the front, the standard stone protection hood helps to keep stones and root material away from the tractor. If the Cultro is attached at the rear a packer is available as an option.
The Cultro 3 TC can be used solo or in combination with for example the Joker 3 CT.
The Cultro 12 TC with an effective working width of 12.20 m is launched as a trailed tool. In transport position the two wings of the machine respectively fold lengthwise to the front to stay within the statutory frame for the width of three meters and for the height of four metres. The four three-meter-double knife roller elements can be combined with a 1-row harrow and the well-proven RingFlex packer or with a 3-row heavy harrow. Depending on the region where they are used both equipment lines have their advantages.
The combination with harrow and packer mainly makes sense on rather light soils to be able to rest part of the machine weight on the packer.

The 3-row heavy harrow however guarantees an additional redistribution of straw in the direction of travel. The harrow tines with a diameter of 14,3 mm take up straw and harvest residues and distribute them. The machine weight of the Cultro 12 TC almost completely rests on the knife roller what is particularly advantageous in case of tenacious or partly green harvest residues.

A lot of possible applications

In a manner of speaking, the Cultro works on a knife’s edge and can be used in very different ways:
To get this straight: There usually is no smooth cut. It rather is a mechanical breaking or crushing of harvest residues or growth.
Rape stubble cultivation surely is the most obvious application of the double knife roller. The main tasks are: break the stubbles open, crush them and take up the harvest residues again without penetrating the soil too deeply to avoid burying the volunteer rape. The Cultro TC perfectly meets these requirements and carries out the tasks very fast – at an operational speed of up to 20 km/h. The relatively low costs for such a pass play an important role.

During the second pass in rape stubbles, the already emerged, small rape can be incorporated. The straw that at that time already is brittle is crushed even further and the volunteer rape can be stimulated to emerge a second time.
In addition to rape stubbles, knife rollers are also quite commonly used in sunflower stubbles. The main focus is on crushing the stems to create – in combination with tillage - a seedbed for the following crop. The breaking open of the stubble and stem sections additionally guarantees that the residues are disintegrated as quickly as possible.
In regions with a high silage maize ratio, stubble hygiene is the subject of fervent discussions and mostly is already used intensely. The objective is to damage the stubbles of the harvested maize in such a way that the corn borer does no longer find wintering grounds. The Cultro TC can support this effect by crushing and breaking open a large part of the stubbles. Thus, the stubble dries up, gets in contact with the soil and the disintegration process starts. Though the use of the Cultro TC as an individual measure in most cases might not be enough, it can be used as an alternative for mulch technology during the work process. A high operational speed and relatively dry, compact soil is essential for the destruction degree of the maize stubbles. Thus, the knife roller can cultivate the stubbles even more intensely.

In catch crop populations the Cultro TC can be used at different times. The scope ranges from a growth limitation of the populations by bending and crushing via a shallow incorporation of green populations to the targeted crushing of the mulch cover after winter. The latter can be a huge advantage with regard to a fast soil heating and drying especially on colder sites.

HORSCH always thinks in farming systems. The Cultro TC is another complement to different systems that allow for working shallowly, intensely and with little effort. Different stubble passes and the use in standing catch crop populations are part of the agenda. Depending on the working width the Cultro TC can be combined with the most different tools to achieve the optimum work effect. In extensive regions or in no-till farming, especially the Cultro 12 TC with the 3-row heavy harrow can be a highly efficient tool to rework stubbles, distribute straw, break capillaries and create an optimum seedbed for no-till farming.