Cover Crop Roller

The Cover Crop Roller mounts to the front of the tractor with a three point hitch; leaving room for the seeder at the back. This means you can knock down weed-suppressing mats of cover crop, and plant through it all in the same pass!

Organic and sustainable farmers who already work with cover crops will quickly realize the time saving value of a front mounted Cover Crop Roller. Conventional farmers may now consider the move to organic with this step saving tool; or they can use the Cover Crop Roller as part of their conventional farming program to reduce the amount of herbicide sprays.

Cover Crop Roller

The rolling and crimping action of the blades will transform a field of
vetch, rye or other cover crops into a thick, weed suppressing mulch.

Raised Bed Roller - Cover Crop Roller - Roller Crimper

Water or other liquid can be added for more weight, which makes for better performance on hard soil. Weight of the 10.5′ Cover Crop Roller is 1680 lbs. empty and 2470 lbs. filled with water.

Cover Crop Roller benefits

· Cover crop management without herbicides or tillage

· Reduced herbicides in conventional no-till systems

· Mulching effects and barrier attributes of cover crop are maximized

· Rolling and compressing improves the weed suppression of the cover crop

· Reduction of water evaporation from the soil

· Better incorporation of crop residue in organic farming

· Can be built from 6′ wide (2 rows) to 30′ wide (10 rows) and up to 60′ wide on planter frames

· Roller is ground driven

· Blades are arranged in chevron pattern to prevent bouncing

· Blades are welded and replacement blades can be bolted on as needed

· Can either be mounted 3 point on tractors or horse drawn

Cover Crop Roller

So the farmers are saying to themselves,

“I need to figure out how to make
the same amount of money on
half as much land.”



Going organic could help them do that.

Cover Crop Roller

Trailed and 3 Point Hitch Models

Roller Sizes & Shipping Info.
8′ Roller 36″w x 36″h x 102″l Ship weight 1,300 lbs. 11′
Roller 36″w x 36″h x 132″l Ship weight 1,600 lbs. 16′
Roller 36″w x 36″h x 192″l Ship weight 2,500 lbs.
*Also Available in Towing Model with Hydraulic Lift

Organic Farming?

November 20, 2003: “I thought you were organic!” So said one of The Rodale Institute’s (TRI) conventionally farming neighbors earlier this year, after seeing TRI’s freshl Rodale Farm Manager Jeff Moyer had knocked down the cover crop of rye and planted the beans directly into the residue. “It looked so good and the kill was so complete, he thought it must have been sprayed,” recalls Moyer. Rest assured, however—there were no chemicals involved. Instead, Moyer used a new, front mounted cover-crop roller designed and built at The Rodale Institute® as part of a continuing effort to develop practical methods for reduced tillage organic production. The Rodale Institute Farm team has experimented with no-till corn into mixed legume covers as well as no-till soybeans into small grain covers, and is greatly excited about the results. “We’re moving toward a situation in which we do our primary tillage to get our cover crop established, so that [the cover crop] almost becomes your primary crop, even though it’s not for sale,” Moyer explains. “It changes the way you think about the whole system.”

Once you’ve seen how one pass with a roller can turn a lush stand of rye and hairy vetch into a 5-inch thick, weed-suppressing mulch, you’ll wonder why anyone thought of introducing herbicides into the concept of no-till. The goal is not to cut the stems but just to crimp them and lay wait until the cover crop reaches full flowering. If you do it before, the plant is still in a vegetative growth stage and will bounce back green and vigorous; but if you get it after that point, it will dry and die.  “At least a 20% bloom is suggested,” explains Matt Ryan, a TRI research technician who has worked on the no-till effort, “but we’ve found it’s better to wait for 50 to 75% bloom.” As long as any early-developing seeds are still green, they won’t be viable to create a problem in the next crop.

Cover Crop Roller - Roller Crimper