Disc harrows

Disc harrows: operating principle and application

Modern technologies for growing crops include the use of disc harrows (cultivators). These are intermediary machines between share plows and rippers. In the structure of the agricultural machines fleet in Ukraine, disc harrows occupy about half of the total number of tillage machines. Among European farmers, this machinery is also very popular.

Why? The basic rule of agriculture states that a good harvest depends on the quality of tillage. Soil loosening, destruction of weeds, pests and pathogens, stubble peeling, mulching of crop residues, accumulation of moisture all together create favorable conditions for plant growth.  

Movable operating elements

The main movable operating elements of disc cultivators are spherical discs, pointed along the perimeter, which can be solid or notched. They are assembled into batteries, which are installed on the frame in one or several rows. Single-row units are disc cultivators, while multi-row machines are called disc harrows.

By the way, the active sections are set at different approach angles within 15-35°. With an increase in the approach angle, both the width and the depth of processing of each disk increase accordingly. For high-quality stubble cultivation, it is better to set up the machine with an approach angle of 35°. If the soil is slightly weeded, then the angle can be reduced to 30°. At the same time, it can be set to 15-20° for harrowing.

In recent times, the design of the disc harrow has been significantly improved, and the functionality has greatly expanded. Manufacturers can install discs on individual racks or complete them with additional movable operating elements, for example, rollers. 

Unit constructions of machine tools with a tractor can be trailed or mounted. 

One of the most important elements of disc harrows is the bearing assembly. The operation of all equipment will depend on its quality and life. There is more than one bearing in the construction design, so it would be nice if manufacturers used maintenance-free components. The market knows the models of disc harrows that are basically maintenance-free, there is not a single lubrication point, for example, GEKON disc harrows by HF Agro. If the equipment is completely maintenance-free, farmers do not need to spend time and resources on constant lubrication.

Disc harrow application

The disc harrow is used by farmers almost all year round. It is used for basic soil cultivation for cereals and legumes, for peeling a large amount of plant residues, for example, after harvesting large-stemmed crops such as corn and sunflower. Besides, the machine is used for shallow disc peeling – this technology helps fight weeds, pests and plant diseases.

The operating principle of the cultivator

The agrotechnical requirement states that tillage with disc harrows should be carried out to a depth of at least 3 cm. 

The operating principle of the unit is as follows: while contacting with the field surface, the disc cuts small pieces of soil, lifting them along the inner spherical surface, then the soil falls onto the field surface. 

On the market, there is a wide range of disc harrows, both domestic and international. In order to choose the right equipment for your farm, you first need to determine priority criteria for yourself. Here are the top tips for you. If you have large fields, then you can decide on wide-cut machinery. Look for maintenance-free models among them with wear-resistant bearings and movable operating elements. And if you like the option with a spring hanger, then this is the best choice. Such a hanger ensures a uniform working depth, reduces traction resistance, and, as a result, lowers fuel consumption.

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