PRACTICAL TES: Treffler is possibly best known for its precision pressure harrows, but since 2008 the Bavarian-based machinery maker has also been among the pioneers of ultra-shallow cultivators. Given the increasing interest in this type of tillage, we’ve tested the mounted TGA560.
Cultivating at full-width to a shallow depth is a topical issue for many farm owners and managers, and it’s an area Treffler has a good deal of experience in, having launched its 3.0m to 7.2m wide semi-mounted TG cultivator back in 2008. Six years ago, it added the fully mounted TGA, which comes in three sizes — 3.0m, 4.3m and 5.6m.
While the six semi-mounted models are only available with a roller at the rear, the two smaller mounted machines can be fitted with either a roller or a harrow, and there is even the option of a quick-change system. Our test machine, a TGA560, is only offered with the three-row following comb harrow, because the roller would be too heavy on this size of machine.
If you want a roller on this 5.6m cultivator, Treffler will point you in the direction of the semi-mounted TG580, which, not surprisingly,
represents a bigger investment.
Understanding the philosophy
First a few words about the Treffler tillage philosophy. The manufacturer recommends carrying out several passes and progressively increasing the depth on each pass to control weed roots and conserve maximum moisture. How often you need to cultivate depends on the type of crop, the weather and the weed pressure. Three to four passes at depths of 2, 4, 6 and 8cm could be possible after winter cereals. As with all cultivators of this type, the field surface needs to be relatively level.
Organic material stays on top
The TGA cultivator is designed to segregate the soil and the organic material, soil and stones staying below the crop residue and weeds remaining on top. This is the best way to feed earthworms in particular, while at the same time it should also help retain moisture. But this segregation also has its challenges: the organic material remains mostly in the topsoil after several passes. If you are after a cultivator to intensively mix straw residue and soil this is probably not the machine for you. In saying that, straw amounts of 4t/ha are certainly less challenging than in crops with 8t/ha.