Combining field passes
Bed shaper / mulch layer combination machines
offer large-farm efficiency by combining bed shaping and mulch application in one
field pass. The bed shaper in front performs equally well filling and firming
beds, assuming conventional field preparation.
Tractor power requirements are essentially the same as bed shapers alone.
For example, nearly any field tractor with a
3-point hitch can form a 4-inch high bed. Look to use at least 35 HP for a
6-inch bed and at least 50 HP for an 8-inch bed.
The mulch layer unit behind the bed shaper needs no additional
power to pull, but the added weight and length of a combined machine may need a
heavier tractor and more 3-point hitch capacity to lift and carry it.
A large-scale one-pass machine can also include application
of drip tape, fertilizer and fumigants. Since
combos must shape beds in one pass with mulch covering it immediately behind,
this puts an emphasis on field tillage preparation before bed shaping.
Applications of bedder-layers can be expanded. Buckeye
additional solutions to reduce field work, save time for planting earlier, retain more
moisture in the soil and integrate bed shaping with local tillage practices.