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cultivator, agricultural implement for stirring and pulverizing the soil, either before planting or to remove weeds and to aerate and loosen the soil after the crop has begun to grow. The cultivator usually stirs the soil to a greater depth than does the harrow. See cultivation.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an implement for loosening the surface layer of the soil, killing weeds, and applying mineral fertilizers to the soil. According to purpose, a distinction is made among fallow cultivators, for complete soil cultivation; roll cultivators, for loosening the soil and killing weeds in the row middles; all-purpose cultivators, for both complete and interrow soil cultivation; and fertilizer applicators, for cultivation of row middles and simultaneous application of mineral fertilizers (by top dressing). Tractor-mounted cultivators are produced in the USSR.

The main working parts of a cultivator are the teeth, hillers, applicator feet, toothed disks, and fertilizer distributor (for fertilizer applicators). The teeth of the cultivator are used to cut weeds, to thin plants, and to loosen the soil. The hillers are used to cut furrows in irrigated fields; to ridge potatoes, cabbage, and cotton; and to kill weeds and cover them with dirt. The blade of the hiller cuts and loosens the soil and the frame, and the wings lift it and move it to the side. The applicator feet are equipped with fertilizer tubes through which mineral fertilizer passes from the fertilizer hoppers to the bottom of the furrow. Toothed disks are used on cultivators and rotary harrows for breaking the crust and loosening the soil in plant rows and protective zones. Weed teeth are designed to till the protective zones and row middles while simultaneously cultivating plantings of corn and other row crops.

The teeth of a cultivator are connected to arms that are rigidly mounted on the frame (for fallow cultivators only) or mounted with a hinge (for better adaptation of the teeth to the relief of the field and for maintaining the preset soil working depth).

A rod cultivator is used to cultivate the soil and preserve stubble. Its working part is a square rod, which is rotated

Table 1. Specifications of cultivators for complete cultivation of soil
 Fallow cultivatorsScarifiers
Operating width (m) ......................3–442.
Depth of cultivation (cm) by sweeps ......................6–125–125–126–121616
by teeth ......................148–16128–162525
Productivity (ha/hr) ......................2.0–2.82.4–3.21 .0–1 .41.12–1.571.621.45–2.0
Operating speed (km/hr) ......................5–76–85–75–74.655.7
Table 2. Specifications of cultivators for working row middles of row crops
Operating width (m) .....................2.4–2.83.6–4.24.8–––2.8
Depth of cultivation (cm) .......................6–166–166–166–16up to 1 54–164–166–17
Operating speed (km/hr) ...............................6–96–96–95–74.5–7.04.1–7.24.1–7.24.0–6.5
Productivity (ha/hr) .................up to
up to
up to
up to
up to
1.1–1.91.1–1.9up to
Number of sown rows produced ..............................466–844–6664
Width of row middles (cm) .........................60–7060–7060, 70,

through a reduction gear by the running wheels; it sinks into the soil to a depth of 6–10 cm, loosens it, and kills weeds. The cultivator is equipped with a ballast box, which holds up to 25 kg of sand or soil to provide better penetration of the rod.

Specifications of cultivators used in the USSR are given in Tables 1 and 2.

Cultivators of similar design are used abroad.


Sel’skokhoziaistvennaia tekhnika: Katalog. Moscow, 1967.
Karpenko, A. N., and A. A. Zelenev. Sel’skokhoziaistvennye mashiny. Moscow, 1968.
Sel’skokhoziaistvennaia tekhnika: Katalog. Moscow, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A farm implement pulled behind a powered machine that is used to break up soil, kill weeds, and create a surface mulch for moisture.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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