And what exactly is a rotterra? Well, it is similar to a rototiller, but the “blades” spin horizontally instead of vertically. So the soil is only shallowly disturbed. This has several advantages. First, the soil structure is maintained. At this time of year, with short cool days, soils are often pretty wet, even if there has not been much recent rain. Racing through a wet field with a more aggressive rototiller would make for a lumpy, bumpy seedbed, no matter how much you try to flatten it out. Lumps and bumps will create problems all the way until harvest; with plant growth, weeding and harvesting. Second, fewer weed seeds are brought to the soil surface to germinate. So having this new tool, we can lightly cultivate which helps dry out the top layer of soil, and take out the weeds. It helps us plant sooner, which can make a real difference in our bottom line as the year goes on.
February 7, 2011