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Rotary hoe cultivation

Pöttinger ROTOCARE V 6600 rotary hoe

The Pöttinger ROTOCARE V 6600 rotary hoe is a versatile machine that can be used for weed management in a range of conventional and organic crops from drilled cereals to row crop vegetables, as well as loosening up soil surface, shallow stubble cultivation, aerating grassland and incorporating fertiliser.

The ROTOCARE comprises a robust frame with depth control wheels that allow the machine to run smoothly over the ground, and rotary hoe stars that have 16 self-sharpening 18 mm wide wear resistant spoon-shaped points. The offset angle of the rotary hoe stars and spoon points protects the crop but lifts out the fine weeds. Each rotary hoe star has a row spacing of 89 mm and is individually mounted on a spring to ensure optimum ground tracking.

Paul Wilson, Territory Manager Pöttinger Ireland, explains “during operation, the rotary hoe stars sweep weeds that are in the germinating, white thread to first leaf stage out of the soil on to the surface to dry out, dislodge weeds that have germinated but have not emerged, or cover weeds in the early stages of growth.” He adds “the ROTOCARE is most effective for controlling small weeds. Weeds that already have true leaves are too big to be controlled and are more likely to survive so pass timing is critical.” He continues “the ROTOCARE is most effective when used in dry, hot weather.”

The working depth of the ROTOCARE is adjusted, to a maximum of 40 mm, using the depth control wheels and the top link position. The top link also regulates the working intensity by adjusting the weight on the rotary hoe stars, with up to 20 kg downward weight per rotary hoe star possible.

Paul says “depending on the type of crop, blind weeding is possible. When used in row crops, the track width of the depth control wheels can be adjusted to the bed width or row spacing. For crops growing on ridges, elements can be lifted to protect the crop and prevent knocking the ridges.” He adds “sufficient time is needed before making the first pass for transplanted crops, like calabrese and cabbage, to allow new root growth and to avoid dislodging the transplants.”

Driving speed, ranging from 10 to 30 km/h, is a key influence on the aggressiveness of the ROTOCARE rotary hoe weeding tools. Depending on soil conditions and crop growth stage, increasing and decreasing speed affects the depth of penetration into the soil. “Faster speed reduces the working depth and is less aggressive than slower driving speed. A faster pass dislodges more weeds in blind cultivation. Established crops can have a faster pass” Paul says.

The high underframe clearance of 500 mm allows the ROTOCARE to be used in more established crops. While clogging of the machine is avoided by the underframe clearance and the single row configuration of the offset rotary hoe stars.

The Pöttinger ROTOCARE is available in three models: ROTOCARE V 6600 at 6.6 m width, ROTOCARE V 8000 at 8.0 m, and TOTOCARE V 12400 at 12.4 m.

Further information on the Pöttinger ROTOCARE V 6600 rotary hoe