Spring, the rotary tiller season, is almost here

March 20, 2024

The planning of work in the field embraces a large number of procedures, chosen depending on the chosen type of crops, the time of year and the farming method (e.g. organic or conservation) pursued. Usually, as winter draws to an end the ground is prepared for seeding, a job that can be done with a rotary tiller.

This agricultural machine is able to cope with a wide variety of soil conditions and can also be used in early autumn. What’s more, in its stone burier version it is able to process even soils with a large number of clods and stones, which are separated and buried, leaving only the finely tilled soil on the surface. Let’s explore them in detail in this new article from the Alpego editorial staff.

Why is rotary tilling a good idea?

Rotary tilling breaks down clods of earth and mixes the soil to create a soft tilth ready for seeding. If the ground is already fairly soft, rotary tilling can be performed straight away, without ploughing first, because this mechanical process offers multiple benefits over use of the plough:

  1. Better control of weeds;
  2. In presence of cover crops or crop residues, the rotary tiller chops up the organic matter evenly and redistributes it in the soil;
  3. Compared to traditional ploughing, with the rotary tiller fewer passes are required to produce a good seedbed. It is preferable above all with cover crops such as green manure, when fewer passes and only superficial tilling are to be preferred.

Rotary tilling is able to provide a uniform seedbed which drains well and does not retain too much water, the ideal medium for seed or vegetable seedlings, which will enable optimal root development. Rotary tillers supply working depths between 10 and 25 cm and can be equipped with a helicoidal, straight or square blade (with various angles available) for breaking up the ground.

rotary tiller on wet soil

When a rotary tiller should be used

It is important to assess the condition of the ground before starting to prepare the soil in an open field. For example, in the coldest months frost may compact the ground and make it hard and thus difficult to till.

Spring is the best season for rotary tilling, since the soil is usually crumbly and not too damp, with the ideal consistency and moisture content. A rotary tiller can also be used in late summer to prepare the ground for autumn seeding. However, it is important to remember that climate change has wrought profound changes in seasonal weather patterns, with heatwaves and sudden torrential downpours. To make sure that all your work is not in vain, it is important to assess the best time for jobs in the field with particular care.

In the coldest months, rotary tilling facilitates seedbed preparation because it reduces the soil’s compactness and improves its absorption of rainwater. What’s more, the process enriches the soil with nitrogen from the atmosphere, improving its porosity, important for the seed to be placed in it. To learn more read our guide to preparing ground for seeding.

Alpego rotary tillers, exclusive solutions

Alpego has a range of patented rotary tillers suitable for all types of soil, which provide effective tilling and good seedbed preparation. They meet the needs of sector professionals (both farmers and contractors) and offer many benefits:

  1. Central gear transmission, a market exclusive patented by Alpego since 1988, on all machines in the range. It gives the machine a working width the same as its overall width, no fewer than 4 rotor support points and excellent weight balancing on both sides.
  2. The whole range is equipped with speed gear change.
  3. High-strength main frame constructed in the best Swedish steel, guaranteeing load resistance far superior to the market standards while keeping weight down.
  4. Central and lateral mechanical seals to protect the central transmission from water, mud and dust, for unrivalled service in all working conditions

The full range is available with 4 different models of rotor, to cater for all situations: Rotozappa and Inversa stone burier (helicoidal blade), Rotolama (straight blade) and Rotopik (tines). The Focus Line also includes specific models designed for vineyards and orchards, to provide the same working quality even in specialist jobs.

Focus on the Alpego stone buriers

Land with rocks, stones or large numbers of hard clods requires a specific rotary tiller to achieve optimal soil conditions. Soil with a coarse, stony surface is very permeable and unsuitable above all for small-seed crops and for transplanted seedlings, often used in the vegetable sector.

These requirements are covered by the Alpego Inversa stone buriers, effective even on previously untilled land and very hard soils. In these machines, the rotor turns in the opposite direction to tractor travel, dragging rocks and stones towards a parallel-bar sorting grid, which returns the finely tilled soil to the surface. Available in working widths varying from 2.5 to 7.2 m, they are ideal with tractors of power from 75 to 500 HP.

Find the best model for your needs on our dedicated page.

Stone burier Inversa
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