New Flat roller will give better crop

Introduction

Through all years one has closed the spring season by running (Cambridge) ring roller. There has never been any discussion about that. Everything else is constantly changing, but the ring rollers. I therefore became curious about if the ring roller is as entirely perfect as we have concluded or if it is room for improvements here as all other places in the world. It becomes an interesting study because it shows that this equipment should be radically improved.

Figure 1 The picture of the surface on an ordinary Cambridge ring roller as we are used to see it. Rings with solid studs and edges.

Uneven sprouting and drying

Every grain grows only out of what conditions each single grain has. It doesn’t matter a grain if the neighbor grain has ideal conditions. This is a matter of course that everybody agrees in. Therefore you should take a look at figure 2 that shows a cut in the soil when run over by a ring roller and the result after sprouting. Surprised? Here the soil is packed quite uneven. Some grains are pressed deeper down with heavily packed soil (under the edges and the studs) while others hardly have got any packing at all. The surface has become 3 times as big in comparison to a plane surface. The wind dries the water out of the soil from the tops in the surface and the sun scorches in the bottom. A gift to the early summer dry and uneven sprouting.

Figure 2. Normal Cambridge ring roller. Here you can see how different growing conditions and depth the grain gets by using normal ring roller. Specially observe the large depth difference, the earth packing and the poor straw support. A tripling of the surface gives larger danger of early summer dry.

Root fall-over

Some grains have barely soil coverage while others are surrounded by loose soil. Some sprout partly out of the vertical surfaces inclining and therefore get minimal anchoring. Maybe this is the reason for that is so much root fall-over? Actually should every grain have so correct depth and got so correct packing that we didn’t got root fall-over at all.
But the ring roller crushes at least the lump will someone argue. Yes there where the studs and the top of the rings are, but that doesn’t help in the soil between the studs and the tops because the studs and the ring tops will carry the most of the weight and therefore it will become less crushing force here. As if that is not enough, so are all the profiles rounded so that the weight become ”carefully” distributed over the whole lump. Thus it will be damaged as little as possible and only be pressed carefully into the soil. This has of course not been the purpose, but it will act as if this was the purpose.

How must an ideal roller be?

It must pack even over the entire surface as you can see in figure 3 so that each single grain get equal good growing conditions and equal packing around each grain. It must minimize the surface which means that it must be flat. The roller must follow the surface so that the packing becomes equal over tops and in dips. The surface must to be porous; that will say that the packing rings should have about ¼ inch (1 – 5 millimeters) distance from each other.

Figure 3. Flat roller. The new Flat roller packs the soil quite even and all the grains becomes packet quite even, evenly depth and evenly hard. The surface becomes plane, porous and even. The straws get good support. Even sprouting, less drying damages, less root fall-over and better crop will be the result.
Figure 4. The flexible Flat roller follows the contours in the surface ideal. The arrows show where the sharp edges cuts and crushes the lumps without pushing them down into the soil. The weight transmission between the ring elements helps in addition to press small stones down into the surface.

The lumps should ”be attacked” with sharp edges as shown in figure 4 because then the stress will be so high where the steel hits the lump that the lump goes to pieces without being pushed down into the soil. Furthermore the roller should be made in hardened steel so that the edges remain sharp.

A roller ought to be run with high speed because it is neither dangerous nor unpleasant to drive fast on a newly sowed field. The roller must stand to hit stones even with fairly speed without getting damaged. It ought to be rolled easily so that the speed can be increased without tractor wheel digging. You can thus roll much faster with the same tractor. The roller should carry with it little dust to avoid dust problems. If it is extra hard clay or equal, the roller have weight transmission to the ring lifted by the lump so that you get higher crushing force. Small stones will then also be pressed down into the soil so that they go into the combine harvester.

Increased profit

How much you earn extra by changing to Flat roller you must evaluate yourself. You know your fields and can therefore best evaluate how big you harvest loss you get each year because of early summer drought, uneven and late sprouting, root fall-over and areas with lots of lumps. Here it is room for huge positive surprises. If you can reduce your harvest loss with i.e. 360 lbs/acre (400 kgs per hectare), get more even quality, less fall-over and thus better harvest and lower humidity, it will sum up to a great amount of money when you multiply the harvest increase per acre with your number of acres and the grain price. All running expenses and work are equal except for faster rolling and easier combine driving.

Production

Because no one of today’s farming equipment producers makes rollers with such characteristics, we have decided to start production of such a Flat roller when we find the interest large enough to that we can start efficient serial production. The new droller can unfortunately not be demonstrated either before it is patented because it is a demand to get patent that the technical solution has not been shown in public. Serial production and patenting are today essential to be able to deliver top products at low cost so that also you as a farmer can get your share of the saving. We will of course use the very best make of dust tight roller bearings and high quality steel materials.

Reflections

We could not avoid doing some reflections when we started working with this solution. It is a bit unbelievable that the other manufacturers year out and year in have produced ring rollers with its obvious weaknesses without some bells ringing. The reason they probably know best themselves but I do the pools that the first made one that for real made tracks and therefore was regarded as efficient. And then have the other producers uncritically copied the solution because they assumed that the first knew what he did without analyzing it more closely. The moral many ought to draw from this is that it is seldom it pays of just to copy a solution that one doesn’t know properly and believe that everything is in its perfect order. Then you can fast get unpleasant surprises. You therefore ought to beware that the manufacturer didn’t only has copied the solution. Because it is you as a user that will suffer by that the crop becomes lower than necessary every year. Surely a bit irritating but therefore it is very important to do something with it as fast as possible. If you maybe are interested or have views I hope you will contact us. Email:flagro@fladby.com. The more interest the faster it is possible for us to start the production.

© Tron-Halvard Fladby/ 2006.05.31