By Farm Progress staff
Many farmers across the country know they have a problem in many fields —or parts of fields — they would like to correct for the 2020 season. It’s soil compaction: created either during the late, wet harvest of 2018 or during the super-wet spring of 2019, or both.
One option some will look to in attempting to remedy the problem is deep ripping. Researchers say it’s difficult to prove that it improves yields in small-plot settings, but common sense says if you have a compacted layer several inches below the surface, you might want to consider breaking it apart.
Landoll offers what might be the right tool at the right time. It’s the Landoll 2512 ripper with automatic, hydraulic-powered reset shanks. It definitely deserves a look if you want to try this approach. Researchers say you can expect more lifting and breaking action deep under compacted layers if you can run deep ripping tools when the soil is dry down to the depth where you’re ripping. They also usually advise adjusting the ripper so you only go an inch or so below the depth of the deepest compacted layer.
Other companies have introduced serious tillage tools as well. Some even have serious names, like Mandako’s Storm and the Horsch Omnis FT16 tools. They’re built tough to handle those challenging tillage jobs where you need a machine you can depend on to hold up in the field.
If you’re into strip till, check out the strip-till cart offered by Hawkins. It’s designed to meet the needs of someone who is serious about making the strip-till approach work effectively.
One of the more unique offerings is the Veris iScan+ Flex sensor from Veris. Mounted to a field cultivator shovel, this sensor can detect actual soil moisture content. You will no longer have to guess whether soils are wetter than you like, or just right. You may still decide to till either way, but it could be useful in helping you determine which depth to operate at in varying soil moisture conditions.
Check out our slideshow for more soil compaction solutions.