Power harrows for compact tractors: how to choose the perfect solution

May 21, 2024

In the fragile and fascinating contexts of viticulture and fruit orchard, choosing the perfect power harrow for compact tractors cannot be underestimated. Through careful analysis and an in-depth understanding of soil and crop requirements, farmers can ensure an efficient and environmentally friendly tillage process while promoting healthy and vigorous plant growth.

Tillage in vineyards and orchards

Viticulture is an ancient agricultural practice, dating long before the Romans. Loved and appreciated around the world, it has evolved considerably over the centuries, integrating new technologies and methodologies to improve the quality and yield of the harvest. Similarly, the cultivation of fruit trees has spread and developed globally, with a strong focus on local varieties and seasonal types. Together, these two crops are at the centre of specialised tillage, which is carried out in narrow spaces with light and agile machinery.

Both vines and fruit trees require special care for their development, e.g. the soil must be protected from dangerous waterlogging and prunings must be carried out annually. As in the open field, it is also very important in vineyards and orchards to execute a proper and periodic inter-row tillage, in order to ensure not only the beauty of the cultivation but also a healthy plant and micro-system in which it is inserted. In this regard, a widely used practice is working with power harrows for compact tractors, which are very versatile and sturdy to adapt to different soil types. They remove weeds and break up the surface crust of the soil, promote aeration and drainage, allowing the roots to get the oxygen and water they need to grow properly.

Che si tratti di vigneti o frutteti, è importante ricordare che bisogna sempre adottare una strategia agronomica personalizzata in base alle specifiche caratteristiche del terreno, del clima e delle colture presenti, al fine di ottenere i migliori risultati in termini di produttività e qualità.

Advantages of harrowing

As just mentioned, power harrow is the recommended machine to work in narrow spaces such as vineyards and orchards. Thanks to its compact size and manoeuvrability, it can easily access between plant rows without damaging them, allowing the operator to carry out tillage precisely and efficiently. Moreover, by destroying weeds mechanically and incorporating crop residues into the soil, the need for chemical treatments can be reduced, thus helping to preserve both soil and environmental health, as well as greatly improving the quality of the final harvest.

Power harrows play a key role in the development of new plantations and their advantages are many. By creating well tilled and well-drained soil, they provide optimal conditions for plants to grow and develop. This enables farmers to maximise their yields and obtain top-quality products.

In summary, among the many advantages of harrowing we can list:

  1. Aeration and soil structure: compacted soil is loosened, improving its structure and promoting better aeration. This helps to improve soil fertility so that the crops can absorb all the nutrients they need.
  2. Weed control: power harrows effectively control weeds through their destructive action, preventing them from sprouting and competing with crops.
  3. Preparation of the seedbed: in case of green manures, the levelled surface ensures uniform placement of the seeds and good seed-to-soil contact, facilitating germination and root development.
  4. Time and labour savings: for an even more complete action, the power harrow can be combined with a broadcast seed-drill, considerably reducing working time and costs.

Power harrows for compact tractor

Since having to adapt to an environment very different from the open field, power harrows for compact tractors must be small in order to fit into the narrow spaces typical of the rows. To be compatible with specialised tractors, these machines must be compact but very resistant, making of materials that ensure efficient operation without compromising tillage duration or quality. It is crucial that they are highly manoeuvrable to operate in the narrow tracks between plants, without hurting the nearby crops.

Designed to the highest quality standards, power harrows must be able to adapt to irregular, sloping or stony soils typical of vineyard hills. Therefore, it is essential that they are reliable, low-maintenance and have easy-to-replace components to minimise machine downtime. These machines are essential for producers operating in narrow spaces, ensuring effective soil tillage while still respecting the fragility of the soil.

The best models: the Alpego Focus Line range

Sector studies confirm that wine production is increasingly popular and appreciated globally. In fact, there are many unique grape varieties that are able to highlight the aromas and flavours of each local variety. Alpego, innovation leader in the agricultural machinery sector, has therefore decided to focus on the needs of viticulture. After years of research and design work, Alpego has introduced a new line of specialised equipment: the Focus Line range. Based on a deep environmental awareness and consolidated experience in the industry, the Focus Line represents a perfect combination of passion and technology, designed to meet the specific needs of this type of cultivation. From the moment we have developed a new technology, we always look beyond the result to refine and improve it.

From inter-row and inter-row tillage to seed-drilling and green maintenance, Focus Line presents lots of solutions designed by Alpego to meet the many needs of the market.

power harrowing

Technologies serving viticulture

Within this range, power harrows could not be missing: developed with ball-bearing mechanics, they guarantee high performance on light-weight models, ideal for tractors up to 140HP. They are compact and ideal for use in narrow spaces, thanks to their design of the side plates, bevelled profiles and clever space-saving features. They are designed to withstand even the harshest conditions, such as hard, stony soils. To this family belong the BA, BE and BV models: discover them all on the dedicated page.

Available for combination with the BV and BE power harrows, the JET-A seed drill allows to obtain an uniform surface between the rows and to seed grass mixtures or green manures in a single passage. Alpego’s professional pneumatic seed drill is equipped with the exclusive patented SECURITY MIX® system, which guarantees precise and regular distribution of the seeds and mixes in all conditions.

4 tips for successful harrowing

An optimal result is always possible, but it is necessary to act with foresight and care without overlooking some key steps:

  1. Prepare the soil: ensure that the soil is adequately moist before tillage. Also avoid working in excessively wet or dry conditions, as this can lead to dangerous clod formation and poor soil structure.
  2. Depth and speed adjustment: the power harrow must be set to the appropriate depth and speed depending on soil type, moisture content, stones, and crop requirements. It is a good rule of thumb to avoid working too deep or too fast in order not to nullify the operation.
  3. Setting up the appropriate machine: it is essential to choose the model best suited to your conditions. To meet different needs Alpego offers several different types of frames, rollers and accessories.
  4. Monitoring performance: never forget to regularly check the performance of the power harrow during its operation, verifying any signs of clogging, irregular cultivation or mechanical problems. Make any necessary regulations or maintenance to ensure optimum performance.

In conclusion

The choice of a power harrow for compact tractors is a strategic decision for farmers working in viticulture and fruit tree cultivation. With the Alpego Focus Line range, operators have versatile and reliable solutions to optimise their production. Investing in the right technology can make the difference between ordinary cultivation and extraordinary success, helping to preserve the beauty and fertility of the earth for the generations of tomorrow.

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