Forcing root growth Gregg Sauder with Precision Planting took a fresh look at seedbed preparation and developed an unusual harrow called To The Max. The harrow works just the top inch of the seedbed compared to the 3 to 4 in. of worked soil with traditional seedbed preparation. Working just the top forces the plant to develop a stronger and deeper root system, Sauder maintains. Otherwise, roots tend to grow just in the top 3 to 4 in. of soil.

Sauder's new implement includes a reel, rolling harrow and leveling board that work together to spread residue, dry the soil surface and crack surface crusts. The soil density is not changed so the seed germinates in warm, moist soil. In addition, the new harrow works best at high speeds of 10 to 12 mph. A 200-hp tractor is required to pull the implement. Nitrogen application may be attached to the harrow. The 32-ft. rotary harrow lists for $26,500. Contact Precision Planting, Dept. FIN, 23207 Townline Rd., Tremont, IL 61568, 309/925-5050 or circle 205.