Buckeye - Disk Bedders
From Raised Bed Equipment
Disk Bedders rough-in beds to establish furrows and build-up soil. First loosen soil and cut-up residue with primary tillage, if needed. The advantage is less field work than one-pass bed shapers, which require soil to be fully worked to seedbed condition.
'Primary beds' are typically 'finished' with Bed Shapers equipped for light tillage before beds are flattened and firmed for planting. More advantages include maintaining moisture with minimal soil movement and and reducing compaction in the row with controlled field traffic. Primary beds can also be 'stale' beds for an initial weed kill with the finishing Bed Shaper.
Primary bedding offers more flexibility. Bed shapers move a lot of soil like plows and many rich or heavy soils are sensitive to field work when wet. Then bed shaping may be best done at plow time when field condition can be dry or wet, clean or with residue, fine or cloddy.
Allowing soil to settle and mellow with time lets moisture better crumble the soil into a fine seedbed. By moving soil early, much less effort is needed to finish the seedbed, which can be a big advantage for early crops or in a wet season. Post-harvest or fall bedding allows beds to set-up over winter in Northern climates. Fall beds can also be planted with cover crops.
Some operators find the primary bedding step more practical than moving all the soil and filling beds with clean furrows all in one pass.
Some growers may use primary beds as they are. Attachments like leveling bars, leveling pans and rolling baskets can be added to condition the bed top. Still, how fine the top seedbed is depends on your soil and prior tillage.
- Maintain soil moisture for planting
- Flexibility to reduce field work
- Reduce field compaction
- Best for wet, residue or rocky conditions