Stone-burier creates a fine tilth for reseeding

  • OPICO unveiled a new range of Alpego INVERSA stone-buriers at the Royal Highland show last week

Based on the Italian manufacturer’s time-proven rotary tiller, or ‘rotovator’ range, Inversa models have some key features that make them capable of creating a friable seedbed in even the stoniest soils.

Spinning in reverse to the conventional direction, the heavy-duty rotor lifts soil and carries it over the top, propelling it through two rows of spring-loaded screening tines. Working in combination with an adjustable levelling bar, this set-up ensures stones, clods and crop residue drop first to the bottom of the worked pass and are then covered by the layer of finer soil that has passed through the tines.

Not only does this create a fine tilth ideal for seed germination and emergence, the buried layer of stones provides sub-surface drainage for growing crops without limiting their capacity to access moisture at depth. These well-structured seedbeds have the ideal combination of permeability and an ability remain stable throughout the growing season, giving crops the best possible chance to meet their yield potential.

What sets all Alpego rotary tillers apart from the competition is the company’s unique centre-drive system. Rather than power being transferred to the rotor via a series of gears or chains and sprockets at one end of the shaft, a slimline geartrain transfers drive to the middle of the rotor.

This has a number of advantages. Primarily it means torque loadings are transferred equally to either side of the machine, reducing strains and stresses on the entire driveline. In addition, by having four support bearings for the rotor, rather than two, the opportunity for shaft flex under load is drastically reduced.

Without a transfer casing on one end of the machine, Alpego rotovators’ working widths are equal to their transport width which maximises output. This also means they can run right up against fences and other obstacles in either direction of travel.

Having a centralised driveline also avoids uneven weight distribution left-to-right, helping to ensure a consistent working depth across the width of the machine.

There are three versions of the Inversa.   The 2.5-3m IG range for tractors from 90-170hp and 3-4m IZ variants rated for 140hp to 280hp. Finally, the flagship hydraulic folding Poker range spans 3.6m to 5m working widths and will handle up to 260hp. All are available with a choice of rear rollers and other options including hydraulic depth adjustment, track eradicators and piggy-back linkages. In addition, seeder mounting kits are particularly popular for those wishing to reseed fields that cannot be ploughed due to shallow soil. Alpego rotovators are the ideal one-pass reseeding tool, creating a decent tilth without the need for multiple cultivation passes.

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