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Rock Grower
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341 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am thanking about getting a rotary tiller for my Ford 4000 diesel and want to make sure I get a good one and need your help once again.

I have about 15 acres of weed eaten rock embedded clay soil that I want to transform into a hay field and/or vegetable plots. It had rotary cutters used on it once a year up to 3 years ago then nothing. Now thistle tree/bushes (Orange Osage)are growing fast and are about 3-4 inches thick. I assume I will need to get the roots out as well as turning the soil?
What steps should I use?
I'm not sure how to make this miracle from garbage to usable soil and what implements would be best?

I do know that I will use a tiller for smaller plots if its not the best for the acres.
Of course money is scarce.
 

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Premium Member
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2,675 Posts
If you have 4" diameter stumps from Maclura Pomifera (Orange Osage) no affordable tiller will work that soil. The ones that do are commercial land clearing tiller/grinders that require over 150 PTO horsepower.

The clearing/mulching machines can usually be rented either from a Cat or John Deere construction equipment dealer. Last one I rented was $1,500 a week. They can do about 3 to 5 acres a day, and burn about 100 gallons of diesel in 8 hours. But the soil is mulched in the end.

Size of rocks will be an issue.

The small property owner on a budget usually uses a single point ripper to break the stumps loose. Once they are picked up, then use a single bottom moldboard plow to turn the soil.

Once the soil is broken loose try to find a heavy old Japanese Yanmar three point rice paddy tiller from a grey market tractor dealer, and use that when the soil is still moist. They generally go for $300 or so, but have gear drive systems far better than new stuff.
 

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Premium Member
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2,675 Posts
There is a second issue, and that is the soil. Contact your County Agricultural Extension Agent and have them give you recommendations on how to improve the soil by cropping. It is a free service.
 

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Retired Canadian
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916 Posts
Kuhn or Howard were the toughest tillers I ever had anything to do with. Your tractor would never run a tiller that could chop-up stumps that size. Meri-Crusher makes a unit that would, but needs 100hp.
 

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Rock Grower
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341 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Kuhn or Howard were the toughest tillers I ever had anything to do with. Your tractor would never run a tiller that could chop-up stumps that size. Meri-Crusher makes a unit that would, but needs 100hp.
I had a chance to get a 72" Kuhn at an auction but the guy next to me was high bidder. I didn't know any one next to me was bidding. So when I thought I was high bidder when the guy next to me actually was. So I lost and he wouldn't give it up, even for a few more dollars.
It sold for $475.00.
I was/am pi$$ed.
 

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Premium Member
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3,117 Posts
Howdy OMF, here's a different approach (probably what I would do).

Cut off and remove the larger trees over 2" in diameter. Cut them close to the ground. Bush hog the rest. A hog will take 2" trees with no problem. You will need a bumper/grille protector on your tractor. Run them over and let the bush hog do its job. The noise will scare you at first.....

Then get a good quality disc harrow, and disc the field several times when the soil is wet. Then get some seed, sow it, and disc it again to cover the seed.

That's my two cents worth.
 

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Retired Canadian
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916 Posts
I like six bales idea. And the less wood you have left in your land the better. Wood eats nitrate and lowers the ph too. The old-timers in Nova Scotia used to make, what they called, stump hay! They burned the trees they cut and spread the ashes and charcoal.
Too bad about missing that tiller the pto shaft is worth more than that!!!!
 

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Rock Grower
Joined
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341 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Howdy OMF, here's a different approach (probably what I would do).

Cut off and remove the larger trees over 2" in diameter. Cut them close to the ground. Bush hog the rest. A hog will take 2" trees with no problem. You will need a bumper/grille protector on your tractor. Run them over and let the bush hog do its job. The noise will scare you at first.....

Then get a good quality disc harrow, and disc the field several times when the soil is wet. Then get some seed, sow it, and disc it again to cover the seed.

That's my two cents worth.

Thank you all Im gonna post another thread on the proper way to turn a weed/tree garden into a flourishing field.
 

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Premium Member
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2,675 Posts
You are more fortunate than you realize that the other guy ended up with the tiller. Rotary tillers are considered secondary tillage tools, not intended for ground that has not been previously worked with primary tillage. They are used to break clumped soil into seed beds.

Read the information on Kuhn's website regarding which of their products to use, and for what purpose, it will save a lot of headaches.
http://www.kuhnnorthamerica.com/us/range/tillage-tools.html
 
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