Residue Management- Schulte Soilstar - The Combine Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Residue Management- Schulte Soilstar

I have been on a quest to find the perfect tillage tools for my farm for quite some time now. I had demo'd a Pro-Till and a Lemkin when they broke onto the scene a few years back. Excited by the field finish, but disappointed when seeding through the lodged cereal stubble the next spring. This lead me on a search for something more... something... variable! The idea of adjustable gang angle is not new, but it hasn't been perfected. Summers, Great Plains, Mandako, and Gates, among others, have been using this concept for years. Each implement a little different than the next, but in my opinion, somewhat rough around the edges. The idea of tillage in my area had been all but forgotten about, with the onslaught of no-till seeding equipment, and a fairly dry 10 year span where the sloughs and low spots had been farmed through, and forgotten that they had ever held water. A heavy harrow was all you needed in this new age of farming! But the sloughs slowly filled, and the wet falls have come back from their hiatus since the 80s, which affects tillage requirements. It was during this weather trend towards wetter conditions when I decided I needed a tool to manage slough bottoms full of weeds, lodged cereal stubble, and poorly chopped residue. I knew that a heavy disc would do the job I needed it to, but was it the best choice? These paralink drills that we use these days are truly phenomenal pieces of equipment, but they don't perform well in loose soil, nor does any hoe drill really. So maybe a nice heavy disc with a rolling basket?.... But then I asked myself, why uproot all the root systems if I didn't really need to. leaving that stubble anchored would help keep residue flow issues to a minimum. But I still felt that bringing up some black dirt to promote decomposition, and aid in the warming of the soil in spring was important. In my opinion, here in NE Alberta, soil warming cannot be over looked.

I eventually settled on a 40' Gates Coulter Disc II, and it has been doing a decent job on our farm for 3 years now. But I see areas where it could be improved. For the most part I run the gang angle at 7 degrees. this keeps about 75% of the stubble anchored to the ground, throws around some black dirt, and does not burry the straw. In theory, lodged cereal stubble is chopped up by the coulters, spread by the harrows, and packed by the rolling basket to begin decomposition... this unfortunately isn't reality. Even at 800lbs/ft the coulters roll over the lodged straw, and the residue management is left to the harrows. the extremely heavy 2 bar harrows on the gates actually do a decent job and I have never had a major wreck in the spring because of it. This is when I started to think I had gotten my residue management strategy wrong. I began looking toward the gates coulter harrow, but ultimately decided that it was simply too light to turn up any amount of black dirt in our generally "dry" heavier clay soil in fall time. So I waited. I anxiously awaited the release of the Versatile Fury, but found that it was pretty much a carbon copy of its predecessors, and not what I was looking for.

Fast forward to Ag In Motion 2018, and low and behold there it sat. A lime green behemoth of a harrow, the DHX-600, which had two rows of wavy coulters sitting under an implement that weighed in at 32000 lbs without its ballast tube full. Where did this unicorn come from!? And how did I not know about it!? Of course we were rushed that day, and all the Schulte reps were chatting with other patrons of the show, so I carried on to further my research on the drive home. Not only did Schulte come up with my dream residue management tool, but they came up with an innovative variable tillage unit that seemed to check all the boxes as well. These two pieces of machinery have the potential to handle all the tillage and residue management on our farm, in virtually any condition. Schulte did a poor job in releasing these units to the public, but maybe it was because they only are building 15 pre production units, and you cant even price out the 42' version of the VTX yet. The you-tube video release was sometime in February, and I was still watching videos on the Fury! They are not cheap, but they may have potential. Wait and see if we are able to get a demo this fall... fingers crossed!

Does anyone have any more info on these units, other than what is on the website?

How are you managing residue on your farm?

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 12:14 AM
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Seen that machine at the show in Regina. Also thought it looked well built and has some good potential. $3000/ft i recall ?

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Brent.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by K_melnyk View Post
How are you managing residue on your farm?

Try not to touch it, most doesn't even go thru the combine. Quietly seed into it with a Pillar single pass while retaining the most yield limiting element in NE Alberta, water.



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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bjtjjl View Post
Seen that machine at the show in Regina. Also thought it looked well built and has some good potential. $3000/ft i recall ?
Yes, retail is right around 3k/ft. Hopefully we don't have to pay full retail...
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 12:33 AM
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K melnyk have you tried using a heavy duty 12 inch space cultivator with 1-2 inch spikes and harrows. It is amazing how well this works when pulled at 8-10 mph. It blackens it and the harrows on the back do not lump the straw if you go fast enough. Most of the straw is still anchored. I really like this when needed and it is a fraction of the price.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 12:40 AM
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This looks like what Salford has been doing for quite a few years now, with the 2100 being the current incarnation. Maybe I am missing something though.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SouthernSK View Post
K melnyk have you tried using a heavy duty 12 inch space cultivator with 1-2 inch spikes and harrows. It is amazing how well this works when pulled at 8-10 mph. It blackens it and the harrows on the back do not lump the straw if you go fast enough. Most of the straw is still anchored. I really like this when needed and it is a fraction of the price.
I have often circled back to this option in my head, but I always worried this type of tillage would result in tillage lines in the crop the next year from the wider spacing, and narrow opener. have you seen any of this in your crops?

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Originally Posted by New_Farmer View Post
This looks like what Salford has been doing for quite a few years now, with the 2100 being the current incarnation. Maybe I am missing something though.
In some ways you are correct, the DHX puts more emphasis on harrows than coulters to manage residue. I can run my gates very similar to a 2100, or 4100 depending on how I set the gangs, each have their place. The Disc harrow is pretty much a heavy harrow that throws some dirt around. When I think Salford, I immediately think pea stubble. I would be surprised if this unit could manage pea ground.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 09:16 AM
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With the harrows behind we have not seen any problems. I have only done it a couple years when neeeded. It is amazing how well it works. The nice thing is it does not open up all the ground and you still have a great seed bed. I have a 53 foot cultivator set up for this purpose and use it when needed. With the spikes or narrow tips I think it would be a lot better for dealling or preventing shallow compaction compared to disk machines. The nice thing is when it is so dry and there is no need for it you do not have to worry about all the investment you have sittting there doing nothing. I have another cultivator about the same size with shovels on it to work sloughs in the fall as well. It is amazing what a cultivator will do in sloughs when pulled with some power and speed. We had a slough full of bullrushes for 20 plus years that we worked this spring with it. We burnt the odd spot of odd bullrush residue. The cutivator worked great when we finally got 500 hp on it and could get the speed up. When you spike with a 53 ft cutivator travelling 8-10 mph you can cover a 1/4 very quickly.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 12:26 AM
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The added bonus of the cultivator option is the weed control! If you have to till, it's nice to at least be killing weeds!
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 11:21 PM
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Has anybody had a chance to demo the Schulte units?

The DHX600 interests me as a replacement for both our heavy harrows, as well as possibly our ProTill as we move to less true tillage. And would probably also get rid of our old deeptiller that's strictly reserved for drying out potholes.

We rented a gates coulter harrow without the rolling baskets, and I liked the job it did, but this just looks better.

I'd like to demo one, but no real Schulte dealers in our area.

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