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Cost-effective farming with stubble management

Spearhead Machinery offers the Starcut Blade System, with an aim to create a more cost-effective and environment-friendly approach towards the management of crop stubble residue and cover crops

Spearhead Stubble Master 730 v2The Starcut Blade System cuts the stubble at two different heights, delivering a minimum of nine cuts per rotation. (Image source: Spearhead Machinery)

Starcut delivers precise pulverisation, while requiring lower tractor power than competitive fixed knife designs. This reduces fuel consumption and increases forward speed. The Starcut Blade System cuts the stubble at two different heights, delivering a minimum of nine cuts per rotation. 

The first row of blades incorporates Spearhead’s coveted high updraught lift system. It provides maximum suction to lift material into the cutting zone whilst contributing towards mixing soil and dust with the mulched residue. This accelerates decomposition.

A second, longer row of blades in a higher plane, are dual edged and flat. They batter and mulch the material under the smooth, flat deck to provide an unrivalled chop length.

Starcut’s mulching performance helps micro-organisms to flourish, releasing important nutrients back into the soil. It’s also less likely fungus and diseases will carry over, contributing to higher yields in the following season.

Stubble management principles for best results

Coupled with its machinery development, Spearhead worked closely with European farmers and internationally acclaimed universities to develop the Stubble Management Principles. This provides farmers with a concise list of benefits from introducing effective stubble management as an important aspect of their harvest regime.

Faster harvest - Farmers can complete their combining faster by raising the header, mulching instead with the mower outside of the pressured harvest window. They can safely store their crops faster too, away from the elements and ahead of any potential breaks in the weather.

Long stubble after the combine - They can increase the capacity of the combine by around 20% when they raise the header by just 10cm. In years when there is increased rainfall, this can provide a distinct output benefit.  

Working hours and diesel use - The Starcut blade system is highly regarded for its pulverisation and distribution of the chopped material.  With a forward speed of approximately 15km per hour, farmers can effectively cover ground much faster during your harvest. Even when adding a secondary process of tractor and mower, they still reduce diesel consumption by turning off the combine chopper.

Faster decomposition - Mixing chopped stubble with dust and soil accelerates decomposition. Micro-organisms flourish prompting a controlled release of nutrients from the decaying organic material. This in turn reduces fungus and disease transfer and benefits the structure of your soil.

Stubble residue distribution - As combines get bigger, it can be difficult to distribute processed straw across the full header width, especially in windy conditions. Running the flex wing mower diagonally across the ground chops and mulches leftover material closer to the soil and across the full width of the machine.

Pests and insects - Stubble management has successfully managed pests including the "death watch beetle" - one of the world’s most common crop destroying insects. By chopping across and flaring the lower stalk of the plant in a maize crop, the beetle’s habitat is destroyed. 

Waste seed activation - Stubble management is especially effective in rapeseed as it activates waste seeds. The chopped stubble forms a productive carpet and retains the exact moisture required for spilled rapeseeds to become active. This helps crop development in the following year.  

Grass seed management - Traditionally, Spearhead Flex Wing mowers have been used to manage grass seed fields. Using the Starcut Blade System, you can now cut even closer to the ground creating better mulch than ever before. 

For more information on stubble management visit the specialist Spearhead website or request your free stubble management brochure by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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