Agronomic Row Crops
Low-Residue Cultivator

crop height testing graph

Intended for conventionally tilled, light to moderate soils with small stones and up to 20% tilled residue.

Overview: Uproots or buries weeds between rows in a growing crop; because the shanks are usually closely spaced (less than 6" apart), residue flow is restricted. May be adjustable for row width, sweep depth, sweep pitch and toolbar height. Constructed for minimal soil movement, light draft and minimal surface residue. Operate 1" to 2" deep for best weed kill and for highest moisture retention. Cultivating more deeply after applying a preemergent herbicide will bring untreated soil to the surface.

Black and white diagram of low residue cultivator with V shaped shanks attached to toolbar

Design Features: Three to seven shanks per row are usually mounted on cross pieces attached to structural gangs and work between crop rows. A parallel linkage connects gangs to a main toolbar. This linkage allows vertical flex over higher surfaces that allows gangs to follow soil contours while they stay rigid side-to-side. Units used on bedded (raised row area) crops have two or three smaller parallel, rigid toolbars. Low-residue, ground-engaging tools include shovels, points, knives and smaller sweeps up to 7" wide. Leading shank styles are 'Danish' S-tines that vibrate vigorously to shatter and aerate soil, knock soil from weed roots, and leave weeds exposed on the soil surface; straight vertical (rigid mount) shanks with spring-trip feet which maintain an exact position until an obstruction pushes the sweep over center; and C-curved, spring-cushioned shanks made of thin, flat spring steel (pictured), which vibrate slightly and flex around obstructions or compacted spots of soil. S-tine shanks in these units are up to 18" tall with 24" of toolbar clearance.

Model for comparison: 15', rigid frame for 6 rows on 30" centers (6R30)
Includes toolbar, shanks (any type), wide sweeps, one gauge wheel per gang, toolbar-stabilizing coulters, two rolling crop shields
Rec. PTO HP: 50 to 90
3 to 8 mph
List price:
$6,200 to $13,130
Width range (all makers/all models): 5' to 41'

Sources: 2, 12, 13, 18, 21, 37, 44, 47, 50, 62, 64, 68, 77, 78, 83, 84
Farmers: Erisman, Fernholz, Hattaway, Kenagy, McKaskle, Spray