Performance in tough soils, ability to plant earlier, valuable attributes.
Like most farmers, Jim Cole is more than willing to invest in his operation — as long as there’s a pay-off. A recent dividend for the Reyno, Ark., crop producer is the performance of the Kelly Diamond Harrow.
The innovative tillage tool has become a valued asset on the family farm Cole operates with his wife, Wendy, and his mom, Billie.
“I’d seen it in action so I knew it worked,” Cole says, “but initially I wasn’t sure I could justify the expense. It’s pretty clear to me
now that the Kelly saves us money in time and fuel and chemicals. We use it in so many different ways because it’s a very versatile tool
and it does such a good job.”
Cole, who also operates a precision land-leveling enterprise, particularly likes the planting time edge his Kelly Diamond Harrow delivers.
“In the early spring, you can pull the Kelly into a field when it’s pretty wet and you’ll dry out that ground in a day instead of in a week,” he says. “Just working that top inch or two, you get a nice, smooth, level seedbed and it’ll really take care of whatever weeds that are there.”
Offset flexible disc gangs on ultra-strong industrial chain and mounted on a top-grade steel frame are drawn across the ground at an angle. Working at a depth of one to two inches, the Kelly Diamond Harrow levels the ground and opens up the soil surface for drying. It also leaves evenly distributed residue fluffed up on top of the soil where it can serve as mulch or be more easily burned.
On Cole’s rice ground, getting rid of the massive amount of residue can be difficult but it’s also a critical practice.
“It’s really important to get rid of the residue where we irrigate,” Cole explains. “If you don’t, you’re going to be fighting stopped-up furrows. The Kelly tool knocks the stubble down and lifts it up on top evenly so we can get a good burn. Then we’ll go back in and
work that ground twice with a Kelly and it’s ready to plant.”
As useful as the Kelly Diamond Harrow is for seedbed preparation, it’s just as handy as a primary tillage tool. Land that’s been rutted, or has been hipped-up, can quickly be put back into shape. On the Cole farm, there is a fair bit of soil type variation but the Kelly does a good job across the spectrum, even in the most challenging soils.
“This is the best gumbo tool ever made,” Cole says. “You can work any soil — tough as gumbo and light as sand — and it’s going to do a good job. You don’t get the slabs and clods in gumbo that you get with other tools and it saves us from having to run the land-plane.”
The key, the northeast Arkansas grower emphasizes, is that the Kelly Diamond Harrow helps him create the kind of growing environment essential to crop productivity.
“There’s no doubt that it saves us a lot of time and a lot of fuel,” he concludes, “but it still has to do the job. And the Kelly definitely does the job.”