Field Rollers: An Introduction

It can take many years for a farmer to get to grips with different machinery. They may use the same equipment every day and never know there’s a better, more efficient method or product available to do the job. If you’re new to farming, or you’re looking for a way to improve production, then field rollers may be worth a closer look. Here’s everything you need to know about this wonderful piece of farm machinery.

What Are Field Rollers?

Field rollers are agricultural equipment that you can use to flatten land or break up soil clumps. Many farmers use them after they plough or use a disc harrow. Traditionally, oxen or horses would pull field rollers over farm paddocks, but tractors are far more practical and versatile in today’s modern world.

The most popular field roller is a heavy roller which consists of thick steel cylinders and a cylinder with either concrete or water inside. Water-filled field rollers are often preferred as you can empty water to hit your desired weight.

What Do Field Rollers Do?

Field rollers flatten out the land, but the reasons for doing so can differ. Some farmers want to retain moisture loss that’s common with soil cultivation. Others like to flatten the soil to make mowing easier once the grass grows.

A flat piece of land is also a preference for seedbed planting as it allows you to control your average planting depth. Then, there are even farmers who use field rollers just to control weeds and make harvesting easier. They may not look like they can achieve a lot, but field rollers are more versatile than you think.

Of course, there are going to be nay-sayers with any piece of farm machinery, and their uses do not convince some people. Talk to your local farm machinery sales rep to see if a field roller may be right for you.

Are There Different Types of Field Rollers?

There is no one size fits all in the farming world, which means there’s no single type of field roller to suit all farmers either. There are single or multiple-piece field rollers with either smooth or ridged surfaces.

A one-piece roller is less desirable than one with many pieces. When you turn with a one-piece roller, the outer ends have to rotate faster than the rest of the roller, which can cause the field roller to skid. If your ground is soft, such as during the wetter seasons of the year, it can skid up your soil into a pile which defeats the purpose of using a roller.

That’s why a multi-piece field roller is a better option for many farmers. It comprises of two or more pieces on a single angle that rotates at the ground speed.

There are also differences in texture when you go to purchase a new field roller. Textured field rollers break up your soil and add a layer of texture to aid with rainfall. If you’re in the United States, field rollers with texture are often called cultipackers.

What are the Benefits of Using a Field Roller?

There are going to be plenty of farmers who don’t use field rollers because they don’t see the value. But there will be equally as many who do. There is a multitude of reasons why thousands of farmers take to their paddocks with a field roller during the cultivation process of their operations.

Firstly, using a roller when you have rocky or challenging terrain can provide many benefits. It pushes solid objects, such as rocks and balls of roots, into the ground. With an even, flat surface, your combine header won’t run into too many problems with stones when it’s time to harvest.

Field rollers also flatten your soil for better seed-to-soil contact. Many farmers note quicker emergence, so it would be worth talking to other farmers about what they’ve noticed before you make up your mind.

Field rollers can also help to break down tough stalks and accelerate decomposition. If you don’t till your land, then a field roller can help the likes of corn farmers who may struggle to handle the tough stalks left behind.

Where Else Can You Use a Field Roller?

Field rollers are commonly found in farm sheds because they are, first and foremost, a farm implement. But you would be surprised by what else they can do. They are also used on cricket pitches to flatten the ground. If the pitch is flat, batsmen won’t run into as many challenges.

Over the years, rollers of various weights have been used to flatten pitches, but heavy rollers are more common in today’s top-class cricket. Some people also use them to firm up their lawn and flatten it out. If you have wet or clay soil, this is not advised.

Is it Time to Buy a Field Roller?

Many farmers and homeowners see the value in field rollers for their property. They are ideal for no-tillers and for breaking up soil clumps while flattening the land. Talk to your local farm implement salesperson to get an idea of the value such equipment could hold for your property.

Author’s Bio

My name is Alison Hefer, I am originally from Cape Town, South Africa but I have spent the last few years in beautiful New Zealand. I write articles for various lifestyle websites including Farmgard NZ, and Clickthrough SEO New Zealand. I am a busy blogger/mom by day and avid writer by night. My career goal is to one day write a novel of my own.

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