[Market-farming] Williams Tool System

John Hendrickson jhendric at wisc.edu
Thu Jul 27 19:33:30 EDT 2006

I know a couple here in Wisconsin who are very pleased with their Williams 
Tool System.  They grow about 3 acres of mixed crops and use it for stale 
bedding and with a variety of sweeps and knives.  I do not think their soil 
is particularly stoney.  I would agree that it is unlikely to be as precise 
and effective as some belly-mounted set-ups.  I was told by the Market Farm 
Implement folks that they were preparing a video about the Williams 
cultivator and I asked for one when it was ready but haven't seen anything yet.

Now for my cultivation question: what specific cultivators would folks 
recommend for the following crops:

1. Roots (carrots, beets, turnips)

2. Alliums (onions, shallots, leeks and scallions)

I already have a wheel hoe and find this very helpful for both alliums and 
roots but need something tractor-mounted as I look to expand.  Thanks.


At 02:42 PM 7/25/2006 -0600, you wrote:

>Sounds like somebody could avoid a lot of work and expense, and improve
>production by going no-till with winter cover crops. It's heavily
>researched and reported by ATTRA and others.  You can do it with or without
>paul tradingpost at lobo.net
>Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.
>--Henry David Thoreau
>*********** REPLY SEPARATOR  ***********
>On 7/25/2006 at 4:28 PM David Inglis wrote:
> >> Is it God Sent, like they say it is?
> >There is no such thing.
> >Like Paul said, we use it as part of a system. Basket weeders,
> >Bezzirides etc. Unlike Paul I do like the side knives etc but I am
> >mostly using mine to clean up to within two inches of the row and
> >dealing with the in row weeds in other ways. I set mine up with a
> >Bezzirides guidance system that runs on the edge of the bed but unlike
> >the guidance system  offered by Market Farm Implements it does not use
> >any extra land. Our Williams is mounted on the back of a Kubota 245H
> >with belly mount weeders; because of the guidance system I can set up
> >the knives and sweeps, put down as many of the tines as the crop canopy
> >allows and go; no looking back.
> >But: The Williams will make YOUR land look like a Pebble beach because
> >the tines grab any rocks and flip them over to be washed by the next
> >rain. If you really have that many rocks then, short of going through
> >the place with a decent rock picker, twice, no cultivator will solve
> >your problem except maybe one of those French reverse action tillers
> >with an internal screen that leaves all the stones at the bottom of the
> >tillage depth.
> >We have also found that if you go over the row the Williams will pull
> >out starts that have not rooted very well yet. Once rooted most crops
> >can be gone over with all the tines down but for the same reason rooted
> >weeds will not be taken out with just the tines. It works great for
> >blind weeding for us even with what I would regard as moderate amounts
> >of rocks.
> >Good luck mate.
> >Hi Paul.
> >David
> >Mahaiwe Harvest CSA
> >
> >
> >
> >
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John Hendrickson
Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1535 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI  53706

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