Soil care and innovation behind new model deep ripper

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Agrowplow’s new AP91 deep ripper will help reduce costs and boost crop yields.

Soil care and innovation has been the driving force behind the latest Agrowplow deep ripper to be showcased at the Henty Machinery Field Days.

Researched and proven, the latest features can significantly cut farm costs and boost crop yields.

The exclusive innovations built into the newly released Agrowplow AP91 will save tractor fuel and time spent working the machine in the paddock.

Agrowplow principal Shannon McNab said the company responded to requests from farmers and contractors for a machine able to work at deeper depths.

It began research work and trials last year with its own test rig in rocky country at the company’s headquarters at Molong, in central NSW.

The company combined its findings on a new shank assembly design, shallow leading tines and wide wing points with studies on these tines by a team at the West Australian Department of Agriculture and Food.

The department’s studies showed the benefits of deep ripping, from 35cm to 50cm down, can last up to three seasons, and up to 10 seasons on farm operations using controlled traffic systems in light sand.

Mr McNab said the new stronger AP91 models made ripping simpler and smarter for the farmer.

They were easier to tow and would generate time and fuel savings, and an increase in crop yields.

Deep ripping lifts and shatters hard-pan under the soil, allowing better moisture penetration and plant roots to access minerals, moisture and nutrients.

The practice also benefits the soil’s microbiology.

The WA research also revealed for every dollar spent ripping, farmers received $6-$16 back.

“With the AP91, we feel we have a product with a lot of modern features not available on other ploughs,’’ Mr McNab said.

The machine features a single row of shallow leading tines working in-line and ahead at depths of up to 450mm.

This then reduces the draft force required by the following deep rip tines, set to penetrate up to 60cm.

The research shows this complementary in-line system reduces the tractor power needed to tow an implement by up to 18 per cent.

Mr McNab said AP91 models were available in 6m-12m widths and would require tractor horsepower ranging from a minimum of 300hp to more than 600hp, depending on the soil type to be worked.

The innovative No. 9 shank assembly design, exclusive to Agrowplow, features a scissor action and full frame height shank extension.

If the shank hits a rock or other obstacle it cannot destroy, the shank breaks back until level with the frame in a radial motion allowing the material to flow under the machine without attaching and damaging the shank or the robust 200x200x9mm RHS assembly frames.

AP91 models are available in widths of 6m, 9m or 12m for controlled farming operations and features a new level lift system, and wings able to float up to 20 degrees or down 10 degrees to follow ground contours.

There are folding wings on two of the larger models to enable road transport.

Wide wing points are an option with the new No. 9 shank assembly to produce a more complete fracturing of the ground.

An innovation with the AP91 models is the clip-on No. 9 blade system allowing speeding fitting or replacement of the tips on the ends of the tines.

Clips behind the boots hold them in place, ending the time consuming need previously to belt each boot on with a hammer.

The first AP91 has gone to a West Australian grain farm, where it has been trialled against Agrowplow’s previous model machine.

Mr McNab said the farm manager was impressed with the innovative features and performance of the new unit.