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PERFORMANCE OF ROTARY SOIL TILLING MACHINE SERVING ALSO AS A
PROPULSION DEVICE IN THE MOBILE UNIT

Summary

Combination of operational functions of a tilling tool and a propulsion device in the
mobile soil tilling unit offers a number of ecological and resource-saving advantages against
the commonly used teaming patterns.
The analysis has shown the rototiller of direct rotation (unit traveling-wise direction) –
or its modification, a rotary plow – to be the most suited for application as a combined work-
ing tool and a propulsion device. Rotary plows are less active in crushing and mixing the soil,
but considerably less energy consuming against the rototillers proper.
Rotary tool and propulsor is attached in the place of a tractor withdrawable rear axle
that also provides combination of driving functions of the tilling unit running system and ac-
tive working tools.
The working parameters of the tilling unit with rototilling propulsion device were cal-
culated on the basis of the power saving criterion with due consideration for technological
restrictions.
The results of analytical investigations are presented in Table 1. The offered calcula-
tion technique of the key parameters of a rotary tool-propulsor may be applied in various op-
tions of crop growing practices.



Qing Yang, Shaoping Xue, Reixiang Zhu & Huilan Xue
College of Mechanical & Electronic Engineering, Northwest Science
& Technology University of Agriculture and Forest, China

DEVELOPMENT OF CONSERVATION TILLAGE IMPLEMENT
FOR DRYLAND AREA IN NORTHWESTE CHINA

Abstract. This paper reports on the experiment design and performance of related
conservation tillage implements for dryland area in Northwest China, which have been devel-
oped and patented by our research groups. These implements have been demonstrated as well
as in different conservation tillage treatments comparing with conventional tillage at several
experiment sites in Shaanxi province of China. Two years test results show that crop yield
increased by 53%, average soil water storage increased by1 % to 1.2 % at different depth and
organic matter increased by 1% to 2 % for the conservation tillage system with residues cover
compared with conventional bare soil plowing. Moreover the efficiency of yield increasing
and water storage for deep soil loosening was higher than for deep plowing; and no-till seed-
ing of corn on high stubble mulching was better than seeding on low stubble. Finally, conser-
vation tillage system resulted in great economic returns than convention tillage system.
Keywords. Conservation tillage, implements, no-till, residue coverage, mechanized
patterns


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INTRODUCTION
China is one of the many countries in short of water resources in the world. The aver-
age quantity of water holding for everyone only is 1/4 of the world level. There are 53 % of
the national arable lands in the dryland area of north China, in which accounts for about 75%
of farmland under no irrigation installation, the rainfall annually is only 300-500mm with
high seasonal variations and in which only about 150mm is during the plant growing seasons.
In other hand the annual evaporation is as high as 1400-1600 mm, and the use efficiency of
rainfall precipitations is only 37.6%. Moreover, owing to excessive tillage and bare soil under
the traditional moldboard plowing in the long years past, it resulted a lot of serious problems,
heave water and wind erosion, soil degrading, ecology environment deteriorating, poor and
unstable yield and low income of farmers. These factors have greatly restricted the sustainable
development of agriculture and economy in this region.
Sustainable development for agriculture is regarded one of the main issues in the
world nowadays. Conservation tillage farming system integrates the essential technologies of
no –till or reduced-tillage, residue coverage on farmland, biologic pest control and crop rota-
tion for maximum soil protection and soil water storage. Many practices results from different
countries have shown that the conservation tillage technique could maintain surface protection
from wind and water erosion, increase the soil moisture, fertilize the soil, improve the soil
structure, and protect the environment. Therefore it is considered as one of the important
measures for agricultural sustainable development and especially suitable for the dry land ar-
eas.
Research on conservation tillage system started in middle 1990’s in china. Over the
past 10 years, the research work has obtained initial achievements and the experiment results
have proved the feasibility to apply conservation tillage technology in China. In order to fur-
ther extend this new technology in China, there is necessary to develop various implements
suitable for the actual conditions in according with different regions, crops and farming styles.
This paper reports on the experiment design and performance of related conservation tillage
implements for dryland area in Northwest China, which have been developed and patented by
our research groups.

MATERIAL AND METHODS
Design of conservation tillage implements
Development of Implements suitable for requirement of variety planting treatment is
important to realize conservation tillage system. Since 2000 our research groups have devel-
oped and patented five types of related conservation tillage implements.
1. 2BFS—3 No-tillage corn planter (Fig.1)
This implement is mainly used for summer corn no-till planting in dry land as well as
for cultivating, depth loosening, and fertilizing after a little adjustment. The interplant spac-
ing, seed depth, seed discharge can be adjusted according to requirements. This implement is
powered by medium-size wheel tractor (such as Shanghai-50, Tianniu-50), and five functions
can be achieved at one operation such as opening a furrow, placing the seed, drop the water,
fertilizing, and covering the seeds with soil.
This implement has certain advantages such as simple construction, low cost, high
adaptability, and high efficiency as well as protecting seedlings, and it is especially suitable
for working on the field with high stubble condition, which is an ideal no-till planter for dry
land in North China.



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Fig.1. Overall construction of 2BFS-3 No-tillage Planter Fig..2 Overall construction of
1K-1800 Subsoiler

2. 1K-1800 Subsoiler (Fig.2)
This implement is powered by small-size wheel tractor (36.8˜40 kW) and is used to
beak up deep (more than 35cm) compacted layers of soil on no-till field with residue cover.
The main advantage of this implement has V type frame for arranging the shanks in staggered
location to prevent from the residue block during machine working on the field with heavy
residue conditions. The experiment results show that subsoilling operation can great improve
the soil structure and their internal drainage, so it is more efficient for water storage, roots
growth as well as to reduce moisture evaporation due to without disturbing surface residue
cover and soil layer.
3. 9QBF-150/8 No-till planter with straw pulverizing and covering (Fig.3)
This implement is powered by small-size wheel tractor (36.8˜40 kW), and five opera-
tions can be finished at one procedure including straw lifting from the field, straw pulverizing,
residue covering on the field, fertilizing, and no-till planting, which is an new ideal multifunc-
tional implement for conservation tillage. The main innovation for this implement is to leave
the clean surface for no-till planting at moment the straw lifting from surface and pulverizing,
after that, the pulverized residues through the out-channel of machine immediately fall down
and cover on the field which has been seeded. Thereby it is effectively to solve the residue
block problem during implement seeding on the field with surface residue cover.




Fig.3. Overall construction of 9QBF-150/8 No-till planter with straw pulverizing and
covering
4. 2MBFL-2/6 Wheat furrow planter with ridge-covering (Fig. 5)


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This machine is designed to meet the requirement of new agronomic wheat planting
pattern- “three rows close and one row wide planting” in dry land, namely, three rows wheat
are planted in one furrow (60cm width), and one ridge, as wide as furrow, is covered with
plastic film. Six rows are planted within the 1.2m operating width (4 rows only for common
planter of this type). Therefore the rate of field utilization can be improved by 30 . This ma-
chine integrates several operations in one procedure such as ridge making, plastic film cover-
ing, fertilizing, furrow seeding as well as seed covering with soil and pressing and is mainly
used for wheat and other millets both for one crop within one year and for two crops within
one year.
Testing results show that this new technology has certain advantages in rainfall col-
lecting, water storage and soil temperature increasing. therefore it is especially suitable for
dry-land and low temperature regions in North China.




Fig.4 Overall construction of 2MBFL-2/6 Wheat furrow planter with ridge-covering




Fig.5 2MBF-6 No-tillage planter wheat

5. 2MBF-6 No-tillage wheat planter
This implement is especially designed for no-tillage wheat planting on the field with
wheat straw coverage condition. It can finish several operations including straw cutting, fertil-
izing and planting at same position with different depth, and pressing after seeding through
the field with straw coverage. This implement has certain advantages such as simple structure,
light and handy body and reliability of performance, it is one of better implements for extend-
ing conservation tillage system in china at present.
Site description
The Experiment and Demonstration Sites for above-mentioned conservation tillage
implements was set up at Yangling, Huangling and Qian county etc. in Shaanxi province of
China. Yangling district located at Guanzhong Plain in middle of Shaanxi Province. This is a
typical semi-humid region with supplementary irrigation in North China. Annual rainfall is
around 600mm, with about 70% occurring during June to August. Winter wheat and summer

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corn two crops within one year are main crops. Qian County located at North of Wei River
residual tableland area of Loess Plateau, Winter wheat is a main crop. Huangling County lo-
cated at hill and donga area of Loess Plateau, and spring corn is a main crop in one year. An-
nual rainfall is 400˜ 480 for both Qian and Huangling CountyExperiment design
The field experiments of conservation tillage at Yangling Site were conducted from
2001. The total area is two hectare. Ten small sections for no-till or reduced-tillage comparing
with conventional tillage was designed. The map based on GPS and GIS is shown Fig.6.




Fig.6 Small section map of the different pattern based on GPS &GIS

In this area, summer corn is planted in first June immediately after harvest of the win-
ter wheat and is harvested in middle September, the winter wheat is planted in first October
and is harvested in first June next year. The planting treatments for different individual ex-
periment patterns are described as following:
Pattern 1 :No-till seeding of summer corn (NTC) / conventional rotary tillage (CR) af-
ter harvest of corn / conventional seeding of winter wheat (CW);
Pattern 2 : No-till seeding of summer corn on field with high stubble mulching
(NTCH) /no-till seeding of winter wheat (NTW);
Pattern 3 : No-till seeding of summer corn (NTC)/ subsoilling and conventional rotary
tillage after harvest of corn (SCR)/ conventional seeding of winter wheat (CW);
Pattern 4: No-till seeding of summer corn on field with high stubble mulching
(NTCH)/ subsoilling after harvest of corn (S) / no-till seeding of winter wheat (NTW);
Pattern 5: No-till seeding of summer corn on field with low stubble mulching (lower
than 15mm)(NTCL) / no-till seeding of winter wheat (NTW);
Pattern 6: No-till seeding of summer corn on field with low stubble mulching (lower
than 15mm)(NTCL) / subsoilling after harvest of corn (S) / no-till seeding of winter wheat
(NTW);
Pattern 7 : No-till seeding of summer corn (NTC) / straw pulverizing and covering on
field after harvest of corn (PZ) / conventional plow and rotary tillage (CPR) / conventional
seeding of winter wheat (CW);
Pattern 8 : No-till seeding of summer corn (NTC) / conventional plow and rotary till-
age (CPR) after harvest of corn / plastic film covering on ridge and side- furrow seeding of
winter wheat (SWFC);
Pattern 9 : No-till seeding of summer corn (NTC) / straw pulverizing and covering on
field after harvest of corn (PZ) / no-till seeding of winter wheat (NTW)’;
Pattern 10 : No-till seeding of summer corn (NTC) / conventional plow and rotary till-
age (CPR) / conventional seeding of winter wheat (CW).


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RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Test results
Field experiments of winter wheat and spring corn within one year were continuously
conducted from 2001 to 2003 at Yangling Site. Water storage data of soil at different depth
are listed in Table 1 for both convention and conservation tillage.
Table1
Average water storage of soil at different depth (2001.12.19)

Conservation till-
Convention till-
age Residue cover-
Depth (cm) age Bare soil
ing
(Section 11)
(Section 10)
6-10 17.00 % 18.60 %
11-20 18.10 % 18.90%
21-30 18.20 % 19.20 %
31-40 18.10 % 19.70 %
41-50 19.40 % 20.10 %

According to the test results, average soil water storage increased by 1 % to 1.2 % at
different depth and organic matter increased by 1% to 2 % for conservation tillage with resi-
due cover compared with conventional bare soil plowing . Wheat yield increased by 53%,
and spring corn yield increased by 25 % for the conservation tillage system with wheat resi-
dues cover and no-till seeding of corn immediately after wheat harvest, compared with con-
ventional tillage pattern. Moreover the efficiency of yield increasing and water storage for
deep soil loosening was higher than for conventional plowing; and no-till seeding of corn on
high stubble mulching was better than seeding on low stubble at same cropping treatment
conditions.
Discussion
The common cost for different mechanized planting operation in China is listed in ta-
ble 2.
Table 2
Different plant operation cost (Yuan)/ (hm 2)

Residue Film
Rotary till- No-till
pulverizing cover and
Plowing Seeding Subsoiling
age seeding
and cover seeding
270 375 270 150 270 375 270

The benefit analyzing for main conservation tillage including No-tillage with residue
cover, No-tillage with subsoiling and rotary tillage comparing with conventional moldboard
plowing for both winter wheat and summer corn are listed in Table 2 to Table 3.
and 2 respectively



Table 2
Results analyzing for winter wheat in main plant treatment in 2003

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Relative
Grain Production Operation
Returns
returns
yield income cost
(yuan) (hm
Plant treatment Note:*
T/(hm (yuan) / (yuan) / (yuan) (hm
2)
2) (hm 2) (hm 2) 2)
(NTC)/ (CPR) / Calculation
5.04 6051 795 5256 0
of wheat
(CW) section 11
prices ac-
(NTC)/ (PZC) /
cording to
(CPR) / 6.80 8161.5 1065 7096.5 1840.5
1.2(yuan)/kg
(CW) section 8
(NTCH)/ (S)
/(NTW) (section 6.28 7521 645 6876 1620
5)
(NTC)/(CR)/(CW)
5.58 6696 420 6276 1020
(section 2)

Table 3
Results analyzing for spring corn in main plant treatment in 2003

Relative
Grain Production Operation
Returns
returns
yield income cost
(yuan)
Plant treatment (yuan) / (yuan) / (yuan)
(hm 2)
T/(hm 2) (hm 2) (hm 2) (hm 2)
(NTC)/ (CPR) / (CW) 5.78 5781 420 5361 0
section 11
(NTC)/ (PZC) / (CPR) 8.17 8169 375 7794 2433
/ (CW) section 8
(NTCH)/ (S) /(NTW) 6.42 6420 375 6045 684
(section 5 )
(NTC)/(CR)/(CW) 4.62 4618.5 375 4261.5 -1099.5
(section 2)
Note: * Calculation of wheat prices according to 1.2(yuan)/kg; **The height of the
stubble leaving the field is about 35cm and 15cm in section 5 and 2 respectively

CONCLUSION
Through two years yield experiment for mechanized conservation tillage technique
comparing with conventional moldboard plowing tillage; some initial conclusion could be ob-
tained:
1. The conservation implements developed by our research group are suitable for the
actual natural and economic conditions and as well as the farmer’s science and technology
levels in rural areas of China.
2. Surface residue cover was more efficient in increasing soil moisture and fertilizing
soil comparing with conventional moldboard plowing tillage.
3. Conservation tillage system resulted in great economic returns than convention
tillage system due to greater yields and low production costs resulting from reduced tillage.
4. Yields increasing and water storage for deep soil loosening was higher than for
conventional plowing, therefore subsoilling could be the best way instead of conventional
plowing.
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5. At same cropping treatment, No-tillage seeding of corn with high stubble mulching
was better than with low stubble mulching.
6. The conservation tillage patterns discussed in this paper are suitable for double-
crops within one year in semi-humid regions, as well as suitable for one-crops within one
year, such as whiter wheat and spring corn in try-land area in North China.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by Chinese Science & technology Ministry, under 863 Pro-
gram No.2002AA6Z3121 and No.2004AA2Z4120, and by Chinese Agriculture Ministry, un-
der key program “Mechanized technology system for high efficient use or rainfall in dry
farmland of Shaanxi loess plateau, and by Farm Machinery Administration Bureau of Shaanxi
Province, under project “Yangling Experiment and Demonstration Site for Mechanized New
Technique and Machinery”

References
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James R Smart and Joe M. Bradford, 1995, Conservation Tillage Corn Production for
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John E. Morrison.2000, Development and future of conservation tillage in America,
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Yang Qing, Xue Shaoping, Zhu Reixiang, Development and Application of Mobile
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