HE-VA showcased its new Top-Cutter knife roller at LAMMA 2019. Designed to assist in cover crop destruction, the Top-Cutter can be fitted as an option to HE-VA front presses, rolls and Disc-Rollers.

Mounted ahead of the main cultivation elements on the chosen machine, the roller is equipped with six double-sided blades which span its full working width. With downforce generated by the implement it’s affixed to, the blades provide a transverse chopping action. The press or pakker rings on the host machine work at 90 degrees to the knife roller ensuring crop residues are comprehensively dealt with.

In a move to aid smooth operation, the blades are arranged in a chevron pattern to evenly load the roller and avoid vibrations being generated when the machine is running at speed.

In addition the roller is mounted to the main toolbar frame via the same rubber torsion damping system employed on HE-VA’s time-proven disc cultivators, helping to protect the implement from shock-loads should stones and rocks be encountered on the surface.

James Woolway, Opico managing director said: “As conservation agriculture becomes increasingly important we need to ensure that, in tandem, we are developing new and improved mechanical ways to breakdown and incorporate cover crops and green manures so that farmers can include green cover in their rotations without heavy reliance on chemicals for incorporation.”

As well as its role in cover crop management, the new Top-Cutter has already proved an invaluable tool on the Continent in helping control the European corn borer. Capable of devastating crops of maize, this moth larvae over-winters in the plant stems so dealing with crop residues post-harvest is essential. A cross-bladed crop destruction roller has been proven to be the ideal weapon in this battle, pulverising and incorporating standing stubbles. There is also evidence to suggest that chopping maize crop residues can help to reduce the carry-over of fusarium, further helping growers to reduce their reliance on chemicals.

Available as an option on HE-VA Front-Rollers and Front-Pakkers up to 6m wide as well as Disc-Rollers from 2.5m to 6.5m and the 12.3m Tip-Roller XL, the Top-Cutter can also be retro-fitted to certain existing machines. Prices start from £4,652 RRP