The Toolshed- Glossary

Definitions in current use by farmers, researchers and manufacturers or the American Society of Agricultural Engineers ((616)429-0300). See ASAE terminology bulletin on tillage implements (S414.1); soil-tool relationships (EP291.2 Dec 93) and soil-engaging components for conventional-tillage planters (S477 Dec 93).

Alabama shovels. Soil-moving sweeps in a triangular shape, 8 to 16 inches wide. Mounted on vertical or set back dog-leg shanks. A large version of a 'batwing' shovel.

Barring-off disks. See 'disk hillers.'

Bezzerides tools. Common term for a line of in-row weeding tool sets manufactured by Bezzerides Bros. Inc. of Orosi, CA.

Blind cultivation. Killing weeds before they emerge.

Broadcast tillage cultivation. A shallow field pass treating the soil continuously within its swath, i.e., not differentiating between row and inter-row areas. Includes passes with tools like a rotary hoe, harrow or rod weeder done after crop emergence.

C-shank. A shank of flat stock bent in the shape of a 'C,' mounted with the open side forward. Stock is usually at least twice as wide as thick; thicknesses of 0.5 to 0.88 inch. Used for low- to moderate-residue row-crop cultivators and field cultivators.

Chisel-plow shank. A shank resembling a C-shank, but made from more rigid stock. Used for heavier cultivators and chisel plows. Usually 1.25 by 2 inches.

Cultivator. A tillage tool designed to work several inches deep to remove weeds between rows of growing crops. Usually a toolbar - attached to a tractor by a three-point hitch - is the mounting point for row units which carry soil-tilling units. Sometimes called a 'plow' in the South.

Cutaway disks. Term for barring-off disks, disk hillers, weeder disks. See disk hiller.

Danish tine. See S-tine.

Delta clean knife. Wide, single-piece cultivator sweep.

Disk hillers. Disks 6 to 22 inches in diameter paired to work ahead of a cultivator gang to move soil. May be set close to row to pull soil away from small crops, or reversed (through swiveling 180 degrees or switching sides), positioned farther from the row to move soil into rows. Also called barring-off disks, cutaway disks, weeder disks.

Do-all. Generic name for several combinations of secondary tillage tools. Usually combine S-tine cultivators, harrows, disks and a leveling device, widely used in conventional tillage systems in the Mississippi Delta and central Midwest.

Drag harrow. Flex-tine harrow in North Dakota; a spike-tooth harrow in Ohio.

Drill. 1. A wheeled implement that drops grains into soil openings created by disk, shovel, coulter or power blade openings. 2. In the South, the crop row (i.e., where the drill put the seeds).

Field cultivator. Tillage tool that works 2 to 5 inches deep to open up soil or incorporate residue, depending on tooling. Sweeps often used for fallow weed control. Shovels used more for spring field prep. Designed for broadcast tillage across the entire working width. Four to five toolbars of C-shanks are common.

Flame weeder. A mounted combination of a portable fuel source and burners that generate flame hot enough to kill weeds. Tractor mounted flamers can be used broadcast to cover the entire toolbar width, or with more directed burners to work between or in rows of growing crops. Backpack type flamers cover small areas with precision manual control.

Flex-tine weeder. Light implement for broadcast tillage cultivation. Multiple round or angle iron framing members hold round or flat spring steel teeth that run up to 0.5 inches deep, vibrating and moving around obstructions. Also drag harrow (North Dakota), finger harrow, tine tooth harrow, or weeder. 'Weeder harrow' usually has much thicker tines - almost spikes.

Gang. A single structural member, mounted at right angles to a main toolbar, that holds a grouping of cultivating tools. Usually connected to the toolbar by a parallel linkage so it follows soil contours. Also rig (John Deere) or row unit.

Guidance system. Any combination of mechanical or hydraulic parts that keep an implement oriented a set distance from the row as the implement moves down the field. Hydraulic systems usually have sensors that use the location of the crop row or a soil formation to control adjustments to the implement's position.

Knives. Thin metal soil engaging tooling meant to slice off weeds without displacing soil.

One-piece sweep. Wide sweep used in high-residue conditions. Designed to undercut weeds and minimize surface residue incorporation. Wings extend back from raised center, with open space between for soil flow. In contrast to 'three-piece sweep' which serves a similar function. Also Texas sweep.

Plowing. Cultivating weeds between rows with a shanked implement (Texas).

Point-and-share sweep. See 'three-piece sweep.'

Rig. Cultivator gang, the structural piece as well as the piece with all its tooling.

Rod weeder. Toolbar implement that pulls a spinning rod parallel to the toolbar beneath the soil surface. The rod uproots weeds and creates a desirable compaction layer that can serve as a moisture seal. (In some areas of the upper Midwest, a stiff-toothed weeder harrow.)

Rotary hoe. A high-speed tool designed to aerate crusted soil and to pluck tiny weed seedlings from the soil. Spider wheels with curved teeth rotate around a straight shaft. Alternate wheels are offset for maximum soil contact. High-residue models increase the offset distance to allow more residue flow.

Scuffling. Inter-row cultivation

Shank. Parts of tillage tools designed to connect soil-engaging tooling (shovels, sweeps) with the implement's frame. Shanks can be straight, C-shaped or S-shaped, depending on function. Called 'standard' on John Deere products.

Share. On cultivation tools, another term for sweep.

Spike-tooth harrow. Broadcast tillage tool with horizontal rigid bars that hold square metal rods about 8 inches long, turned 45 degrees so that the corner runs forward. Also diamond spike harrow, drag harrow (in Ohio).

Spring-tooth harrow. Semi-circular, flat spring steel teeth that pull with spring action when they encounter an obstruction or rooted weed. More aggressive than spike harrow, but less aggressive than disk harrows or field cultivators. Displaced by disks and field cultivators for deeper tillage or heaver soil, but still excellent for plucking out shallow-rooted surface weeds.

Sweep. Soil-engaging part of a cultivator. Versions designed to slice through soil, cut off weeds and till soil surface.

Sweep plow. Toolbar implement of great rigidity that pulls a wide, flat blade just beneath the surface. Kills weeds without disturbing surface residue. Also blade plow, Noble blade plow, wide-blade plow, V-blade plow.

S-tine. Flat metal stock bent into an 'S' shape standard to hold a cultivation sweep or shovel at the open bottom end of the 'S.' Lighter versions vibrate the most to shake weeds loose from soil; heavier versions can run through deeper soil or handle higher residue. Used on many tillage tools and cultivators.

Texas sweeps. See 'One-piece sweep.'

Three-piece sweep. Wide sweep used in high-residue conditions. Designed to undercut weeds and minimize surface residue incorporation. Two replaceable (and usually reversible) blades bolt to the shank's bottom members. A third replaceable tip or point fastens on front. In contrast to one-piece sweep which serves a similar function.

Tine. A long, thin rod of spring steel, round or flat, valued for its vibrating action in shallow cultivation.