For 40 years, Thurston Manufacturing, producer of BLU-JET Fertilizer Application and Conservation Tillage Equipment, has been a proud industry leader in design innovation for both product categories.
BLU-JET’s newest Strip-Till Implement, the BLU-JET Galaxy, has further enhanced the company’s award winning Strip-Till product line by offering a variety of narrow and wide row spacings along with the traditional 30” spacing.
“The BLU-JET Galaxy was designed to be flexible in row configurations”, stated Jim Summers, Engineering Department Head at Thurston Manufacturing. More row adjustments allow for operation in a variety of conditions. Swath widths are available from 12’ (4 rows, 36” spacing) to 45’ (18 rows, 30” spacing). Models with wider working widths feature a five section fold and narrow transport width of 15’8”. Narrower spacings are staggered for better residue flow.
The 3-point mounted toolbar has a 7”x7” mainframe for ultimate tracking and durability and, because of common components, can be reconfigured as the needs of the farmer change. To add stability to the tractor and implement during field use and highway transport, the lift assist (standard on all 12, 16 and 18 row toolbars and available as an option on smaller units) converts the three-point mounted implement into a semi-mounted implement.
Like all BLU-JET StripTill implements, each row component functions independently from the next, for superior soil and residue management. The BLU-JET Galaxy has five major components: Super 1200 Coulter, Residue Manager, HD Fertilizer Shanks, SealPro II Disc Sealer and Torison Mount Basket.
The Super 1200 Coulter gets its name from the 1200 pounds of residue-slicing force that it applies. The coulter plays a vital role in any Strip-Till operation because it must cut the residue first so that the ground can be handled by the following components.
Residue Management is essential to protect the machine from debris in the field and to leave clear, effective strips. The Residue Manager is quick and easy to adjust and is attached to a down pressure spring for No-Skip rock protection.
HD Fertilizer Shanks allow knife styles to be changed for greater strip building control. Rigid or MaxPac Spring mountings can be chosen to match soil conditions. Stony soils are best handled by the MaxPac as it allows more flexibility of the blade. The greaseless bearing pivot points provide unmatched durability.
The SealPro disc sealer arms operate independently from each other, allowing superior residue flow and continuous soil contact. Self-lubricating bushings offer low/no maintenance. The SealPro II can be purchased with any of three different blade types to match soil and residue situations: 17” notched, 17” wavy or 18” hoe wheel; each with a different strip result. Under typical conditions, no down pressure springs are required, but are optional for heavy residue conditions.
Torison Mount Baskets follow the SealPro, using concave tooth crossbars to break up clods, smooth the row and leave a settled, firm seedbed. The baskets are mounted on an adjustable rubber torsion mount, resulting in a low maintenance piece.
The BLU-JET Galaxy combines these different components to provide a more flexible, efficient Strip-Till experience. Strip-Till allows growers to combine the benefits of No-Till and Conventional Tilling.
The advantages of Strip-Till over No-Till include faster warm-up of the seed bed and better residue management. If no tilling is done, the ground will not warm as quickly because it is still covered by debris.
The advantages over Conventional Tilling include decreased production costs in fuel, manpower and fertilizer; erosion control and moisture conservation. Fertilizer can be injected while creating the strip using the BLU-JET Galaxy implement. Liquid, dry, NH3 or dual placement fertilizer solutions can be injected with a jet stream liquid injection assembly connected to the coulter or by using a liquid knife that puts the fertilizer directly in the ground. This multi-tasking reduces the number of field passes, man-hours and fuel necessary to raise a crop.
Different areas may utilize Strip-Till practices for different reasons. In colder regions, Strip-Till may be used for a faster soil warm-up. In a very wet region, Strip-Till may be used for erosion control and residue management.