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Compact Tractor Attachments “Middle Buster”

For the next couple Fridays I want to take some time to talk about tillage tools and what they are capable of doing for the up coming spring planting season.  This week’s featured tool is the middle buster, potato plow, or lister depending on what part of the country you’re from.

A middle buster or lister is shaped like two moldboard plows joined together. It opens a furrow and throws soil in both
directions. One middle buster can be mounted on a toolbar to make a furrow, or two middle busters can be mounted on a toolbar to form beds. A middle buster is good for forming a furrow for planting crops such as potatoes. It is also useful for
busting out existing beds. A common practice among vegetable growers is to plant crops such as cucumber or cantaloupe on every other bed; then when the crops start to run, the alternate beds are busted out to make wide beds. A similar use for a middle buster is to plant a cover crop such as peas or beans on beds, then bust out the beds and bury the cover crop in the middles. A middle buster is generally harder to control than a disk bedder. It will tend to catch on roots, rocks or even hard clay and jerk the tractor to the side; a disk bedder will tend to ride over such obstacles. Middle busters can also be used for ditching to help aid in water runoff.
Next week I’ll discuss the benefits and uses of  a “subsoiler”.  Thanks for reading!

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