In June, the rice-planting season will shift into high gear across the country. And as anyone who has worked with rice knows, it’s unique because of the irrigated conditions it’s grown in. For the crop to be a success, you need a levee that produces the right controlled flooding environment.
To help you be successful this season, AMCO has created this guide to building levees that perform with our industry-leading Manual and Hydraulic Levee Plows.
1. HITCH AND PREPARE FOR TRANSPORT
Double-check all nuts and bolts are properly tightened and all cotter pins are spread. Then make sure the plow has been lubricated.
AMCO Levee Plows are designed to fit category II and III three-point hitches and quick couplers. To hitch the plow to your tractor, pin it to the appropriate holes using the spacers.
AMCO Levee Plows also come with standard adjustable parking stands. For transport or field work, make sure the stands are raised and pinned. For unhitching and storage, lower the stands to prevent tip-overs.
Caution – After parking the plow, always check that it can’t be accidentally overturned.
2. ADJUST GANG ANGLES
For the best results in normal operating conditions, Levee Plow gangs should be set somewhere between 18–28 degrees. A greater cutting angle will move the soil farther and improve penetration, while a lesser angle will reduce large clods and any balling up that may happen in wet conditions. To decrease the gang angle, remove the angle-adjusting pins underneath the ends of the main frame. Then, shift the gangs forward and replace the pins at the setting you want. To increase the gang angle, move the gangs toward the rear and re-pin.
Make sure both gangs are pinned off at the same location before cutting.
3. ADJUST CUTTING WIDTH
To adjust the plow’s overall cutting width, use the ratchet jack on the side links. Use the upper mounting lugs with 8-blade plows and the lower mounting lugs with 10-blade plows.
4. ADJUST GANG TILT
Adjust the gangs manually or using hydraulic on-the-go tilt adjustment. A tilt indicator showing hydraulic cylinder stroke is located on the right-hand gang of AMCO’s hydraulic levee plow models, letting you know how much the gangs are tilted.
5. CONSTRUCT THE LEVEE
The number of passes to construct a levee depends on soil condition and desired depth. As a general rule, a levee can be built in three passes in normal operating conditions. There are many methods of constructing a levee. Here are the basic steps of the most common method:
- Limit the depth of the cut on the first pass to avoid plowing up large clods. To prevent water seepage, the levee core should be made up of fine soil particles.
- If possible, allow time for the soil to dry between passes. Large clods are easily pulverized in dry soil, which makes the seedbed less porous and a better environment for growing rice.
- During the first pass, the two middle blades will do most of the work. Limit gang tilt and use primarily the middle blades on your next passes to build a steep-sloped levee with a shallow borrow furrow on the sides.
- Pack the center of the levee with one or two passes of the tractor wheels to create an impervious core.
- Firm and shape the levee during the final pass.
Note – A borrow furrow is formed when nearby soil is used, or “borrowed,” to build the levee. This can help with draining the rice field. If this type of furrow is not desirable for your operation, use the optional feathering blade kit to reduce the effects of a steep borrow furrow.
Interested in learning more about AMCO’s Levee Plows? Contact our tough tillage experts today.
Did You Know? AMCO’s revolutionary hydraulically controlled LF6 and LJ6 Levee Plows feature on-the-go gang tilt adjustments that can be controlled from the tractor seat. These hydraulic adjustments cut down on the number of passes needed to get the job done, saving both time and fuel.