USDA scientist develops crimper to help roll down cover crops

In Southeast Farm Press

By Dennis O’Brien, Agricultural Research Service

Growers who use cover crops are increasingly turning to a tool that can flatten out their actively growing fields, usually in a single pass. Known as a “roller/crimper,” the technology can help reduce and sometimes eliminate the need for herbicides.

Cover crops can improve soil quality; and in organic operations, they play a major role in keeping weeds in check. Crimpers boost those benefits. They have been used for years in South America and are beginning to catch on in the United States, says Ted Kornecki, an agricultural engineer at the Agricultural Research Service’s National Soil Dynamics Laboratory in Auburn, Alabama. He has conducted a study evaluating several crimpers to give guidance to growers and has patented three crimper designs. Continue reading