Kevin Schmitt says he thought he was taking a risk when he bought his first Salford machine. He didn’t know anyone else who was operating Salford’s Independent Series vertical tillage machines that he could talk to about their experience. But he took the leap in 2017, buying an I-2200, and since then five of his neighboring farmers have purchased their own Salford tillage equipment tools. Schmitt says that for nearly 15 years he was on a self-proclaimed search for the right tillage tool. So, when he saw the Salford Group’s equipment lineup at a farm machinery show he decided to demo a machine on his farm. After analyzing the performance on his own land, but with no neighbors to confirm his decision, he cautiously made his purchase. And he hasn’t looked back.
“I was looking for the perfect piece of equipment that could meet my spring and fall tillage needs – and I only wanted to buy one machine to cover all the work,” says Schmitt who farms 1,200 acres of corn, wheat and soybeans in south west Indiana. It didn’t take long for the I-2200 to prove its field performance, allowing Schmitt to downsize his equipment lineup, selling off the rest of his tillage tools.
GETTING A JUMP ON SPRING
Low maintenance, durability and consistent field conditions are the highlights of the I-2200 for Schmitt. He’s just like any other farmer when he admits he pushes his luck a little to get ahead of spring tillage and planting by working fields that may be wetter than he would prefer, but that’s because he’s comfortable with the field conditions his Salford machine will deliver. “Other machines would leave large clods of dirt if I tried to work a field that was too early or wet, but as long as you don’t go too deep, and I only ever work within the top two inches of soil, the I-2200 breaks up the soil without creating rough soil clods. And that really is a big thing when it comes to saving time in the spring.” Schmitt says he’s also satisfied with the consistently ideal planting conditions his I-2200 continues to deliver year after year.
SOIL HEALTH MATTERS
Soil health is important to Schmitt, who notes that his I-2200 helps him manage soil health, reduce erosion and maintain organic matter. “The secret is to never work any deeper than your seed zone,” he says, explaining his Salford I-2200 vertical tillage machine is the perfect fit for the job. “Anytime you turn your soil you risk soil compaction and creating a hardpan. That’s why true vertical tillage is so important because the blades are designed to work the soil vertically. And anything you can do to keep your corn roots going down and not horizontal is a bonus.”
IDEAL FOR COVER CROPS
Soil health is important to Schmitt, who notes that his I-2200 helps him manage soil health, and reduce erosion and Schmitt has also adopted cover cropping in the past decade as another soil health improvement practice. He pulls a PathFinder ST-6 cart behind his I-2200 in the fall to seed the cover crops. Schmitt says the set up is ideal, as the vertical tillage tool breaks down crop residue and preps the soil just before the seed is spread. He says the cart and hose set up allows him to confidently seed even in windy conditions and has been pleased with the spread pattern. “I tell other farmers about my Salford equipment. I wasn’t able to ask anyone about their experience with the machines when I bought mine, so now I make sure people know the equipment performs. I’ve run a lot of acres with my I-2200 and I’m happy with it.”