The Knife Roller

A new development for permanent cover cropping systems

Green Manure Cover Crops (GMCC's) and crop rotation are the key factors for the unprecedented growth of no-tillage especially in Brazil and Paraguay. Linked to the spread of cover crops is the use of a Knife Roller to flatten cover crops. This implement is not terribly expensive and in many cases can be made locally or by the farmer himself. The implement can be pulled by medium sized tractors or the smaller version by animal traction and has contributed a lot in reducing herbicide rates in the no-tillage system. The Knife Roller has become an essential tool for managing GMCC's in many countries of South America. The knives should not cut the plants but just smash the stems, in order to impede water circulation in the plant. It has been a big error of many manufacturers to make the implement with sharp knives. In this case knives penetrate into the soil enhancing weed germination. 

Dimensions of a Knife Roller

  • The Knife Roller consists of a hollow steel cylinder, 6mm thick, approx. 115 - 200 cm wide and 60 -70 cm in diameter.
  • Ends are welded to be filled with water if needed.
  • Approx. 8 - 12 blunt knives are placed every 19 cm.
  • The knives are about 7 - 10 cm high and are placed parallel to the cylinder at an angle of 45° or 90°.
  • Weight of each 200 cm cylinder is aprox. 400 kg empty and 800 kg full of water.
  • Three cylinders are often placed in such a way that two run in front and one in back allowing for greater working width.
  • Cylinders are mounted on a frame to allow hydraulic lifting.

The Knife Roller to flatten and kill green manure cover crops and leave the plant residues on the soil surface is an essential tool for cover crop management.

  • Für das Management der Gründüngung ist die Messerwalze ein Unentbehrliches Gerät, um die Planzen abzutöten und flach auf den Boden zu legen

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