Ripping can vary from relatively shallow work to full depth. Shallow ripping, effectively, is aerating the soil to unlock any tightness in the soil and encourage root growth. Machines fitted with rear rollers are best suited, as they assist the machine in maintaining a consistent depth, rather than relying on using the tractors 3 point linkage controls.
Machines such as the Minos Agri CZ Series offer working depths from 15-45cm .
For surface work however an aerator such as the Aervator GH-2004 would be more suitable.
If it is established that compaction is an issue, then consideration needs to be given to remedial action. The most effective method is to assist natures work by subsoiling. The intention of subsoiling is to create vertical cracks and shatter the soil. This mechanically reintroduces porosity, achieving better air movement, water penetration and microbial activity. It also allows a plants’ roots to grow and travel more freely, thereby accessing moisture and nutrients.
Timing is everything – if the soil is too wet it will make it more like plasticine and won’t shatter. If there is a hard pan, then setting the machine depth is critical to get below the pan to break it up.
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