Salford will release two new tillage vertical models, which are the I-2200 and the I-4200 vertical tillage models. The one shown here is the I-2200, and product manager Brad Baker walked us through some of its features. The I-2200 is part of the company’s Independent or “I” Series, named for its independently mounted coulter blades that vertically slice through soil while fractioning layers of compaction through what the company calls a “jackhammer effect.” The whole I series is made up of eight models in all that vary in aggressiveness, from light tillage and slicing residue to full-bore soil displacement and residue incorporation up to 5 inches deep. Baker says the new I-2200 model is classified somewhere in the middle of the heavy-duty side.
Meet the team
Automatic depth control
This hydraulic cylinder lets you tilt the machine forward or backward to so you can customize the level of aggressiveness on the go by moving a switch in the cab. This ability is part of what Salford calls “field-adaptive” technology, which is the ability to customize the level of tillage according to field conditions. The technology is a foray into what is also known as “variable-rate” tillage, a concept the industry has been working on.
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Salford is headquartered in Salford, Ontario, which is just north of Detroit, MI. This aerial shot shows its main office and manufacturing facilities. The factory, which accounts for more than 170,000 sq. ft., was expanded in 2012 to accommodate the design and production of bigger equipment, such as a 60-foot vertical tillage tool and a new 70 foot precision air drill.
A unique feature of the MagnaSpread Series is its dual hydraulic system in which two motors drive two series of pumps. One pump is for the belt chain and the other is for the spinners, both of which are shown here. Controlling them independently allows for more precise fertilization application because you can fine-tune the rates.
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What BBI brings
BBI Spreaders makes spinner spreaders for application of granular fertilizer and lime. Its headquarters is in Georgia. Russ McEver, shown here, is the head of BBI’s after-market parts and electronics. McEver says BBI is well known in the south but has limited market distribution here in the Midwest. The partnership, he says, will extend that distribution and allow their engineering departments to collaborate on new product developments that leverage all three companies’ strengths.
Pull-type fertilizer spreader
MagnaSpread is BBI’s flagship series. The model shown here is the MagnaSpread II, a hydraulic pull-type spreader with two hoppers, hence the 2 designation, which can apply two products in the same field pass. It spreads lime at up to 2 tons/acre at 14 mph with a 60 ft. swath and spreads fertilizer at 80 ft.-plus swaths.
The I-4200, on the other hand, is called a “hybrid” tillage machine that combines the concept of vertical tillage with conventional tillage in one unit. It is much more aggressive than the I-2200 because of these concave blades you see here in the front of the machine. These disks cut through the heavy reside and mix it with the soil to aid in decomposition. The wavy Coil-Tech coulters follow behind to level out the ridges behind it.
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Baker says the 1-2200 is a “true vertical tillage” machine with coulter blades that run straight up and down, rather than at an angle, so it doesn’t displace a lot of soil. The difference between the I-2200 and the previous I-2100 (which will still be available), is the blade spacing, which has been narrowed up from 7.5 in. to now 5 in. The narrower spacing is designed to provide a smoother field finish and knock down size of residue in field. “It is a good compromise between the 7.5 in spaced machine and something with concave blades,” Baker says. “It creates minimal surface tillage but just enough to pin down loose residue and keep residue from blowing around.”
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Hydraulically controlled shanks
A few years ago Salford introduced a feature that lets you raise and lower the shanks on the I-Series hydraulically on the go so that you can customize the degree of tillage according to field conditions. The same feature, called “Swith-Blade shanks,” also is available on the I-2200 and I-4200, as part of its “field-adaptive” technology. You can choose a chisel style shank for deep tillage operations or an application style shank for deep banding fertilizer application.
Customized field finish
Salford has taken “field-adaptive” technology to the next level with its Flex-Finish hydraulically-controlled harrow attachments, which will be publically unveiled this fall along with the new I-Series models. Both the rolling basket and the coil tines shown here can be raised and lowered on the fly for a customized field finish.
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Strip-till fertilizer applicators
Valmar’s six-ton ST-6 and the eight-ton ST-8, shown here, are strip-till granular fertilizer applicators used for applying fertilizer in the fall or spring with a strip-till bar. Janzen says the difference between the 6 and 8 is a dual metering hopper, a 40/60 split, so that you can meter two products individually and mix them in the manifold.
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What Valmar brings
Salford’s purchase of Valmar expands its reach into the fertilizer application and cover crop markets and gives both companies access to each other’s engineering capabilities. Valmar had these three pieces of equipment on display. The two on the left are strip-till applicators and the one in front is a cover-crop seeder.
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More acquisitions coming?
With Salford’s purchase of Valmar and BBI, we asked president Geof Gray whether the company plans to make more acquisitions in the future. “We’re looking at it,” Gray says. “But it would have to make sense. We are a small company so we would be looking for small to medium size companies that fit our innovative niche and bring a better product mix to our customers.”
“There are a lot of small companies out there that make great products but haven’t been introduced to world yet,” Gray adds. “We can help introduce them and find new ways to add value by working as a team. I challenge my management team by telling them the growth is up to us. As long as we work as a team, why can’t we accomplish anything?
Cover-crop seeders popular
Jason Janzen with Valmar says cover crop units are selling well in eastern U.S. and sees sales moving to western and central U.S., as well. “A lot of them are being mounted on Salford vertical tillage equipment as well as highboy sprayers and sidedress toolbars,” Janzen says. “The sky is the limit with what we are capable of doing in the cover crop market.”
The secret is in the coil
The I-2200 and I-4200 feature a heavy-duty coil spring called the Coil-Tech II coulter, which is a hallmark of the I-Series line. The Coil-Tech II coulter provides more weight/blade than the lighter-duty Coil Tech I to better handle desnse residue and hard coil conditions, Baker says.
From a dealer
Gary Fennig runs Fennig Equipment in Coldwater, OH, one of the largest dealerships in Ohio. Fennig sells Salford equipment and says he sees a lot of potential for the I-4200 among his customers who are looking for a one-pass tool. “It is exactly what farmers are looking for as far as final finish where they can basically plant behind the machine,” he says. “I would call it a one-pass tool that can take care of the crop residue and provide good seedbed prep. Before you’d need two tools to do the same job.”
He says the hydraulic adjustments on the basket, tines, and frame lets you finetune the machine to fit the field conditions without getting out of the cab.
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Dial it in
These three indicators, in yellow, in front of the machine let you tell at a glance how deep the harrows, shanks and overall pitch of the machine are running.