Taking a different approach to ultra shallow cultivations is German manufacturer 4 Disc with the Acticut. This uses hydraulically powered horizontal discs to cut through the soil and roots at the desired depth. This can be from as little as 1cm down to 12cm, but 3-4cm is the sweet spot for upsetting and killing grass weeds.
The maker concedes that the field needs to be level for it to work effectively but each of the disc units has a coil spring for stone protection. The discs themselves are 350mm in diameter and positioned on a 5° angle to help penetrate the soil. There are also arms that press on underside of the tractor’s lift arms to help transfer some of the weight.
The three rows of discs spin at 60-80rpm and require an oil flow of just 25-30l/min. Gauge wheels control the working depth of the discs which have an overlap of 7cm. Working widths are 3.0m, 4.5m and 6.2m with an 8.4m unit planned for next year.
Prices start from €30,000 with the 4.5m model shown being €38,000 as it is fitted with the optional levelling tines and then three rows of tines to help shake the soil from the root ball so the plant dries on the surface. With regards to disc wear, 4 Disc says that one of the units working in East Germany had only reduced in diameter by 4mm after completing 200ha of cultivations.