Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Field Planter Parts & Components

Field planters are towed behind tractors and are designed to sow seeds of all types. Every planter has a toolbar that can feature one row unit to as many as 48 units, and each of these devices has at least one wheel and a large bin that contains seeds. Most row units that are attached to older planters feature a second bucket that is designed to hold fertilizer. Here are the planter parts common to field planters:

The Plates - Each seeder features a plate with a particular number of teeth. The optimal size of the notches depends on the dimensions of the seeds that are being sown and the rate at which the seeds will be released. The more notches a plate features, the more swiftly the device will be able to deliver fresh seeds.

The Toolbar - This long component will be attached to each of the row units. To calculate the length of the toolbar that a field planter needs, the customer has to measure the total width of all of the row units. Next, the distance between each of the units must be determined, and most planters that are used in the United States have a space of 30 inches between the row units.

The widths of the row markers should also be calculated. Finally, the buyer must add the sums of these three calculations to determine the minimum required length of the toolbar. Furthermore, some bars can be connected to navigation systems and the majority of toolbars are able to be folded to allow farmers to store them more easily.

Navigation Systems & Auto-Steer -  A GPS will ensure that the planter follows a straight path, and an automated system can provide the boundaries of a field and create virtual field markers. Certain devices also offer the flow rate of new seeds and the volume of seeds in each bin. Moreover, these systems record historical data and information about previous settings.

Gauge Wheels - The position of gauge wheels determines how deeply the planter can penetrate into the field. Each of the wheels that are situated underneath the row units must be the same size as the others. A wheel that has incurred damage or become lopsided can cause the toolbar to tilt, and as a result, the flow rate of the seeds will be modified.

Seed Tubes - Located under the row unit, these tubes allow seeds to be precisely placed in a chosen position within a row. Frequently, a seed can hit the sensor and fail to exit the tube, and subsequently, several seeds will be released from the device when only one seed should be pushed out of the cylinder. To prevent this, the sensor should be placed at the top of the curved tube. Furthermore, many farmers report that optical sensors must be thoroughly cleaned every day because dust or dirt can easily activate the devices.

Closing Wheels – The press wheels must be positioned in the center of the furrow. Closing wheels can seal the trench without damaging the walls of the furrow, and they will be able to remove pockets of air that may be located directly underneath the trench. The wheels should apply a higher level of downward pressure to soil that is wet than to dry, loose dirt.

At Wearparts LLC, we offer a full range of planter parts as well as the tillage tools you need for success – disc blades, coulters, knives and more. Visit us today or call 1-888-4-BLADES to learn more. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wavy Concave Coulter Blades

Every blade type offers a different set of advantages. When it comes to cutting through crop residue with the greatest efficiency while preparing the soil for seeding, few tools match the unique abilities offered through the use of wavy concave coulter blades.

Wavy Coulter Blades

When it comes to creating the perfect seedbed, choosing the right coulters will help to ensure a good outcome. Plain, notched and ripple coulters all cut aggressively, and bubble coulters can be a good alternative for working sandy soil. However, nothing beats the wavy coulter for cutting through heavy crop residue with the maximum degree of soil disturbance.

Wavy disc coulters come in three basic varieties, and the number of waves on any particular blade will determine the degree to which it will pulverize the soil.

8-Wave: A blade consisting of only eight waves is best for working lighter soils where it will accomplish a greater amount of soil fracturing with a lesser degree of soil disturbance.

13-Wave Coulter Blade: At a slower rate of travel, the 13-wave coulter will contribute to a more vigorous disruption of the earth and generate a finer tillage. It also throws a smaller amount of soil than the 8-wave does, even when run at higher speeds.

25-Wave Coulter Blade: Neither the ripple nor the bubble coulter can work the soil as completely as the 25-wave. Its sharp, narrow edges slice through residue while generating a large quantity of friable soil. While this particular blade will succeed under widely varying conditions, it performs especially well when the earth is wet and yielding.

Wave Count and Harrow Speed
In general, the number of waves on the coulter blade will dictate the speed at which the harrow should run. Wavy coulters do have a tendency to throw the soil, and to prevent this from occurring to an excessive degree, it is best to run higher-wave-count blades at a slower pace.

Width of Wavy Coulter Blades
The width of a wavy blade represents not its thickness, but the distance from the outside of one wave to the outside of another. It is a measurement of wave depth, and the different widths tend to behave as follows:

• Two-inch-wide wavy coulters will generate a broader tilled zone. Although the achievement of soil penetration will require a greater weight, the 2-inch-wide blade will also bury more residue and disturb the soil to a greater degree.

• One-inch-wide wavy coulters will propagate a narrower, finer seedbed. While requiring a lesser amount of weight to pierce the soil, they cut crop residue efficiently and perform better in wet and heavy conditions.

Setting Up Wavy Coulter Blades

In systems that employ two coulters, many agriculturists recommend using a combination of one- and two-inch-wide wavy blades. In a three-coulter setup, on the other hand, it can be best to lead with a two-inch-wide blade in front. This will cut and throw crop residue while creating the least disturbance to the soil. The positioning of two one-inch-wide wavy coulters behind it will accomplish the finer pulverization.

Wavy Concave vs. Conventional Concave

Many people believe that all discs, regardless of appearance, perform in an essentially similar manner. In fact, when it comes to the wavy concave disc, nothing could be further than the truth. While this blade may resemble a coulter on steroids, its differences in curvature and size serve a specific purpose.

The main function of the concave disc is to break up the soil and turn it over while redirecting it toward the concave side. In addition to cutting easily through compacted earth, a disc with the optimal concavity will help to hold the harrow out in loose and loamy soils.

In challenging conditions, a wavy concave disc can outperform the plain concave variety, making short work of cutting into the soil while simultaneously crumbling and incorporating debris. The largest of these will not only cut the deepest, but also bury the greatest amount of crop residue. To add to their abilities, wavy concave discs assist in furrow conservation by provoking less loss of soil. Their use will also impose less stress on the harrow.

There are many options when it comes to purchasing the right disc blades, coulters, and other tillage tools. At Wearparts LLC, we offer the widest selection of coulters, from smooth to wavy concave; and the largest selection of disc blades to provide you with the parts you need for tillage success.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Field Cultivator Parts

As a farmer, you know how important field cultivators are to your business. They’re the machine of choice when it comes to preparing seedbeds before you plant. At Wearparts LLC, we offer a full selection of field cultivator parts and have the knowledge to ensure you get the right parts for your tillage needs.

How Field Cultivators Operate

These devices are designed to eliminate weeds and to properly till the soil before seeds are planted in a field. Cultivators feature sweeps that are positioned 10 to 25 inches apart from one another. Many devices also have large rollers, cultivator shields and cutting discs.

Conventional Sweeps

Wearparts LLC offers three types of cultivator sweeps that can be bolted onto the field cultivator. The smallest component has a width of seven inches, and the largest sweep features a width of ten inches.

The front of each part has a sharp point with a curved design, and as a result, the sweep will naturally dig as deep as possible into the soil to eradicate weeds and to bring fresh, damp soil to the surface of the field.

Our conventional devices also have wings that increase the width of the area that each part is able to cultivate.

Sweeps With Curved Wings

Curved wing sweeps feature widths of six inches to twelve inches, and the angles of the sweeps vary from 47 degrees to 52 degrees. Each of our devices is able to be attached to the cultivator by using two bolts.

The curved sides of each sweep allows the wings to penetrate into particularly thick soil and to till a wider row than the conventional sweeps. Furthermore, numerous studies have shown that a sweep with curved wings and a width of ten inches is able to remove 25 percent more weeds than most conventional devices.

Reversible Double Point

Reversible double points feature holes for the bolts in the middle, and the long, thin design allows them to reach more deeply into the soil than other parts. In spite of this benefit, sweeps that have double points usually won't be able to till an area that is as wide as conventional sweeps.

Sweeps with double points are able to last twice as long as single point sweeps. As soon as one side of the device becomes dull, the user can simply flip the double points and reattach it to the machine.

Getting the Parts You Need
Wearparts LLC provides free shipping for all orders that have a total cost of more than $2,000. In order to request a free price estimate for any of our products, you can visit or call 888-4-BLADES. Our knowledgeable team will help you find the field cultivator parts, ripper points and other tillage tools you need for agricultural success.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Benefits of Strip Tillage

If someone were to show you a soil tillage method that could not only save you time and money, but also protect the integrity of your land, would you consider giving it a try? In the eyes of many soil conservationists and agricultural professionals, a relatively new method could be the answer to successful planting with minimal soil disturbance.

The practice is strip tillage, a system that lies halfway between full- and no-till methods, and many who have tried it have never looked back. The use of strip till tools and machinery offers the following benefits:

•    Improving soil health
•    Enhancing moisture retention
•    Keeping carbon residue safely buried
•    Encouraging seed-to-soil contact
•    Reducing erosion
•    Protecting young plants from wind and drought

In addition, the greater crop yields that can result will have a positive effect on the bottom line of any farming operation. To get an idea of how the method works, it helps to understand the operation of its different parts.

Coulter Blades

Normally of the fluted variety, coulter blades do the heavy work of cutting through crop residue and into the earth's crust. The size of the coulter has a direct impact on the ease with which it does this. In heavy conditions, the larger coulters perform the best.

When working with soil that's rocky or uneven, a flexible mounting of these blades is imperative to permit easy movement over the stones. Under such conditions, a parallel linkage system will also assist in enabling more efficient operation.

Row Cleaners

The job done by the row cleaners will vary according to their placement on the equipment. When positioned in front of the coulter blades, they perform a preliminary clearance of crop residue, enabling the blades to penetrate the soil with greater ease. When alternatively mounted behind the coulters, they clean the rows by removing leftover detritus.

Tillage Shanks and Sweeps

While functioning mainly to loosen the soil within the strip, most tillage shanks today also come equipped with injection tubes that permit the simultaneous application of soil enhancements to the tilled row. The best models will handle liquid, dry or gaseous forms of these materials. The shanks combine with cultivator sweeps to loosen the soil and prepare for planting. 

Berm-Building Discs

Located 6 to 8 inches behind and to each side of the tillage shank, berm-building discs perform the task of sculpting the soil in the plowed strip. Depending on their angle of adjustment, they can either introduce a depression to encourage moisture buildup or build a mound to facilitate water runoff.

Conditioning Baskets or Packing Wheels

From their position behind the shanks, conditioning baskets or packing wheels break up any remaining soil clods and put a smooth finish on the surface. Although particularly important in the spring, their use is optional in the fall, since the winter weather that's sure to follow will do the job just as well.

Combination Equipment

Strip-tillage equipment that consists of a combination seed planter, fertilizer spreader and chemical sprayer will allow a single-pass performance of all operations in conjunction with the tilling and seedbed preparation.

GPS-Guided Tractors

For anyone engaging in strip tillage methods, the success of ensuing seeding and spraying operations relies entirely upon an accurate and even spacing of the strips. Every subsequent pass must be able to duplicate the original exactly. A mismatch of even a few inches could cause misalignment and incorrect seeding and planting.

This vital concern calls for precise guidance of the tillage equipment. Any discrepancy between seed placement and prior fertilizer application can diminish yields by as much as 30 percent. While one method of ensuring accuracy entails the use of row markers, a more exact practice employs GPS positioning to guarantee that successive passes will hit the mark. It’s also importance to have properly aligned disc blades and disc openers that can plant with precise accuracy to ensure the best results.

A Method Whose Time Has Come?

Although strip tillage remains a relative newcomer to the soil management scene, many will tell you that nothing matches its ability to prepare the perfect seedbed while cutting labor and equipment requirements nearly in half. In the end, however, its ability to conserve soil while increasing production could be the biggest selling point of all.

Friday, March 7, 2014

How the Patterns of Different Coulter Blades Affect Performance

When selecting coulter blades for plows and other agricultural equipment, farm owners and agribusiness professionals are faced with a plethora of choices – different sizes, patterns and materials. At Wearparts LLC, we offer coulter blades that are made with boron steel, offering superior soil penetration and a longer wear life, and we offer a variety of disc diameters to fit modern agricultural equipment. But choosing the right pattern for your needs can be a challenge. Below are the most common coulter blade types, with application suggestions.

Fluted Coulters This type of coulter is able to penetrate into an exceptionally deep part of the soil, yet the device only minimally disturbs the surrounding soil because of its relatively thin design.

Fluted coulter blades feature countless small grooves on the surface of the tool and a smooth edge. Fluted coulters are available in diameters of 16 to 22 inches and  thicknesses of 4 to 5 mm.

Bubble CoultersThe uniform protrusions of bubble coulters allow the blades to create a row with a width of slightly more than one inch when they are traveling at a speed of six miles per hour. The flat edge lets the tool cut through hard soil and residue swiftly. Boron steel bubble coulters from Wearparts LLC are available in diameters of 16 or 17 inches

Smooth Coulters This style of coulter was first used in the 19th century and is one of the earlier advancements in agriculture technology. Smooth coulters have the ability to cut debris from plants and to create an eight-inch cavity in the dirt. Additionally, farmers have reported that the usage of smooth blades causes the soil to become especially soft. Smooth coulters from Wearparts LLC are available in diameters of 12 to 36 inches, and thicknesses of 3 to 10 mm.

Wavy CoultersAt slow speeds, wavy coulters till the soil more aggressively than any other devices on the market. The curves of the equipment allow the tool to spread the soil more evenly than other coulter types.

These blades are particularly effective when three of them are used simultaneously. According to highly experienced farmers, two of the blades can create a wide planting strip, while one of the blades will cut deeply into the dirt and residue. We offer wavy coulters that have diameters of 14 to 24 inches.

Notched Coulters Notched coulters feature large protrusions at the end of the disc and are designed to penetrate soil that is exceptionally thick, offering the ability to cut through residue even when traveling at high speeds. Wearparts LLC provides notched blades with diameters of 15 to 25 inches and thicknesses of 3 to 8 mm.

Getting Your CoultersChoosing the right disc coulters can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. At Wearparts LLC, we have years of experience in helping agricultural businesses find the right tillage tools and parts they need to get the job done. Call us at 1-888-4-BLADES today and we’ll help you find the right coulter blades, disc blades and other components you need for tillage success. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Moldboard Plow Parts

Over the years, such farming offenses as improper adjustment, overuse and poor timing have given the moldboard plow an undeservedly bad rap. This is unfortunate, for when it comes to returning fallow land to farmable condition, the moldboard often plays the starring role. Few devices match its talent for burying sod and trash in preparation for shallow discing.

The concave shape of the moldboard allows it to lift, shear and bend soil into smaller, more manageable blocks. While this plow will either loosen soil or perform a complete 180-degree inversion, the characteristics of its various parts will determine its precise method of operation.

The Share

Positioned at the bottom of the moldboard, the downward-pointing tip of this cutting blade generates a suction that pulls the plow into the dirt. However, moldboard plow shares need to be sharp to complete their work. Both regrinding and replacement allow you to get the right performance from the share. Since the share attaches to the frog with countersunk bolts, changeovers should not be a problem. Regrinding is an affordable option, however,  shares may rust and warp over time, prompting a replacement.

Share Bottoms

The bottom of the share will vary according to its intended use. Most commonly found are:

Stubble Bottom - Instead of simply pushing the soil aside, the relatively short and stumpy design of this share will turn it over completely.

Sod Bottom - The slim, elongated shape of the sod bottom turns the slice no further than necessary to keep it from falling back into the groove.

Slat Bottom - This style works well in heavy, mucky soils that tend to adhere to the moldboard.

Breaker Bottom - While it excels at turning stiff and heavy soil, the narrow, protracted and sloping configuration of the breaker bottom does little to pulverize it.

General Bottom - As its name implies, this hybrid of the sod and stubble bottoms will do the job under a wide range of conditions.

Other Moldboard Components

While the share does most of the dirty work, other moldboard plow parts are critical to the moldboard plow’s operation. They include:

Shins - Positioned vertically in front of the moldboard, this separate cutting edge works to shear the wall of the furrow. It is not always present.

Landsides - By running along the furrow wall, this piece stabilizes the plow's horizontal movement.

Frog - This serves as a frame to connect the share, the shin and the landside through the standard to the beam.

Trashboard - The trashboard, as its name may suggest, plays a role in helping to bury trash in preparation for seeding and shallow tillage.

• The higher-end moldboard plow may additionally employ a jointer to deflect manure and other detritus toward the bottom or a rolling coulter to pulverize heavy residue and smooth the face of the furrow.

What the Moldboard Plow Cannot Do

The slicing, lifting, fracturing and inversion capabilities of the moldboard plow allow it to create a clean seedbed by:

•    Burying trash completely.
•    Aerating the soil.
•    Controlling insects, pests and weeds.
•    Incorporating lime and manure.

However, some perennial weeds like briars, horse nettle, nut sedge and Bermuda grass come equipped with roots so deep that no amount of plowing will control them. It is vital to eradicate these pests with a systemic herbicide before you attempt to plow.

In addition, no moldboard plow will ever prepare the soil finely enough for subsequent planting. After its use, one or more passes with a field cultivator will be essential.

There are times when only a moldboard plow will do the job. However, it is important not only to keep it adjusted but also to limit its use to once every two or three years. Those who employ it sensibly will find that nothing beats its ability to prepare a fallow field for planting.

Buying Moldboard Plow Parts & Tillage Tools

Wearparts LLC offers a full selection of moldboard plow parts including shins, shares, trashboards and landsides; as well as a variety of tillage tools including disc blades, coulters and fertilizer knives. Call us at 1-888-4-BLADES to learn more about how we can help you find the right tillage tools for your needs. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fertilizer Knives

The invention of fertilizer knives gave farmers the ability to apply fertilizers of all types below the surface of the soil. These agricultural knives cut grooves to whatever depth is preferred for fertilizing a particular crop. The knives mount to a toolbar, coulter or other equipment made for cultivating or seeding. Most fertilizer knives bolt into place. Some include an extension arm or adapter.

Each knife has one or two attached tubes, usually made of rubber or steel, to which the farmer can connect fertilizer hoses. Pneumatic pressure often is used to push the fertilizer from the fertilizer tank through the hoses and into the ground. The rate of application can be set by adjusting pressure.

For small plots, farmers sometimes use squeeze pumps instead of pneumatic pressure to send liquid fertilizer through the tubes attached to the fertilizer knives. Occasionally, belt cones are used to move granular fertilizer through the tubes. Dry fertilizers also may be distributed from auger-style fertilizer boxes through fertilizer knife tubes into the soil at depths chosen by the operator.

How to Select the Right Fertilizer Knife

Before deciding what type of fertilizer knife will work best, determine whether to use gaseous, liquified or granular fertilizer to nourish your crops. Individual components of your fertilizing system will vary according to fertilizer type. One difference will be the diameter of the hoses and the tubes they attach to that are mounted on the fertilizer knives.

Consider the type and condition of the soil where the fertilizer knives will be used. The shape of the knife determines the type of cut that it makes. If you are planting and fertilizing in previously undisturbed soil where the climate is quite dry, you want fertilizer knives that disturb as little of the soil cover as possible so that moisture is held. Fertilizer knives that make a sharp, clean cut and are shaped to immediately return the dirt to cover the cut once the fertilizer is released work well under such conditions.

If you want to fertilize at the same time that you plant, you need a system with knives that provide for the fertilizer to be distributed a bit to the side of the seeds and slightly deeper in the soil. One common practice is to distribute fertilizer two inches to the side and two inches deeper than the seed. Some systems use a wide wheel that trails behind the seed and fertilizer knives to automatically close the trenches.

Think about the wear and deterioration that occurs regarding the fertilizer tubes that are attached to, or mounted on, the knives. Common choices in tubes are rubber, carbon steel and stainless steel. Differences exist in how the ends of the tubes are shaped and the wear they sustain. Look for designs that provide tube protection and minimize plugging.

Because fertilizer knives are exposed to difficult conditions including weather, chemicals and surface obstacles, you may want to compare costs of purchasing and replacing throwaway knives with investing in knives that use replaceable tips or toes. Fertilizer knives are made of varying strengths and durability. Some are hard surfaced at wear points. Wear surfaces of cast chrome alloy, carbide or boron steel take more abuse than those made solely of carbon steel.

Expert Advice a Phone Call Away

If you have questions or would like to know more, call Wearparts LLC at 1-888-4-BLADES or visit our web site at Our knowledgeable staff can guide you to the right fertilizer knife for your needs. We offer a full range of tillage tools including disc blades, coulter blades, ADU unit parts and more!

Wearparts LLC boron steel gives our knives the toughness they need to cut through packed soils. These knives hold their shape, keep an edge and last longer than those made of conventional steel. Our knives fit agricultural equipment built by several major manufacturers, and we can adapt them to fit customized designs.