What is subsoiling in agriculture



  • CULTIVATION AND TILLAGE. The subsoiler is so named because it cuts and loosens soil below the normal tillage depth of 100–200 mm.
  • Cropping techniques. …
  • Monitoring. …
  • Sensor systems for measuring soil compaction: Review and analysis. …
  • Animal drawn tillage, the Ethiopian ard plough, maresha: A review

Subsoiling is defined as non-inversion tillage below a depth of 14 inches [1]. Figure 6.1 shows an example of an agricultural implement that has been used for uniform disturbance of a soil profile to depths of 14–20 inches.


What is the purpose of subsoiling?

Subsoiling fractures compacted soil without adversely disturbing plant life, topsoil, and surface residue (figure 2). Fracturing compacted soil promotes root penetration by reducing soil density and strength, improving moisture infiltration and retention, and increasing air spaces in the soil.

Does subsoiling improve crop productivity?

Much research has been conducted that provides evidence of the benefits of subsoiling. However, some research has shown no overall benefits to crop productivity. Reasons for the discrepancies include differences in equipment, climate, annual variations in weather, cropping systems, management practices and soil types.

What is a subsoiler?

These layers require special equipment called subsoilers, sometimes known as rippers (figure 1), to fracture them. This report offers some background on subsoilers and general guidelines on their use to break up compacted layers and return the soil’s structure to a more natural state. g,

What are the ideal conditions for subsoiling?

The timing of ideal conditions will vary depending on the local climate. Contractors may prefer subsoiling wet ground because doing so is easier on their equipment and requires less fuel. oils should be mostly dry and friable.


What is the purpose of a subsoiler?

A Frontier Subsoiler (US CA) is a simple tool that will break up that hard packed soil beneath the surface, helping eliminate standing water by letting the water drain away, giving you a better managed, better producing pasture.

What is the meaning of subsoiling?

The layer or bed of earth beneath the topsoil. tr.v. sub·soiled, sub·soil·ing, sub·soils. To plow or turn up the subsoil of. sub′soil′er n.

Is subsoiling good?

Deep tillage, also known as subsoiling, may be beneficial in alleviating soil compaction and improving crop yields. A culmination of 10 years of Ohio State University research on subsoiling has shown that certain soil types benefit from deep loosening.

Why is subsoiling needed in soils with Hardpans?

The primary reason for deep tillage is to make a slot through this dense, natural layer so that roots and water can enter freely into the subsoil. With this hardpan in place, we are farming with both roots and water up, on top of the hardpan, making our crops vulnerable to weather extremes of either flood or drought.

Is subsoil good for plants?

Subsoil isn’t nearly as good for growing plants. Often when a home is constructed the builder pays no attention to topsoil versus subsoil. Thus the soil at the surface of your yard and garden is just as likely to be subsoil as it is to be topsoil. Subsoil is difficult to grow plants in, if you don’t improve it.

What is difference between topsoil and subsoil?

The topsoil is relatively thin but it has most of the soil’s nutrients. Just below the topsoil layer is the subsoil layer. The subsoil may contain some broken down organic matter but it is mostly made of weathered rocks and clay minerals.

Does subsoiling improve drainage?

If you have a patch of hardpan on your place and need to eliminate standing water, you might try using a subsoiler. It’s a great tool for helping it drain properly. Standing water is often the result of having hard, compacted soil that probably has a lot of clay in it.

What is the use of Rotavator in agriculture?

Rotavator is a tractor-drawn implement which is mainly used for seed bed preparation within one or two passes and is suitable in removing & mixing residual of maize, wheat, sugarcane etc., thereby, helps to improve soil health and save fuel, cost, time & energy as well.

How deep will a subsoiler dig?

24 inches deepSubsoilers dig up to 24 inches deep. Hardpan will typically be 4 to 12 inches deep beneath the surface of the soil. The shank of the tool is just sharp enough to leave a narrow slit in the surface of the ground that can easily be closed back up by running your tractor’s rear tire over it.

What is the difference between zero tillage and minimum tillage?

Minimum Tillage/Zero Tillage System In Minimum tillage, soil disturbance is kept to minimum level. In Zero tillage or No-Till system, no soil disturbance is done season in season out.

How do you break up hardpan soil?

Even a small backhoe can break through hardpan quickly, digging several holes to allow drainage. Softer pans, such as plowpan or claypan, are easier to break through. Either can be dug through with a shovel, perhaps with the help of a pick. Break up claypan or fragipan when they are wet.

What is a plow used for?

plow, also spelled plough, most important agricultural implement since the beginning of history, used to turn and break up soil, to bury crop residues, and to help control weeds.

Why is subsoiling important?

The Benefits of Subsoiling Crop Fields. Soil health is vital to the success of any farm, large or small. The state of your soil directly correlates with that which you are able to grow from it. Thus it is worthwhile to give your soil the time and attention it needs. One way to invigorate soil is by subsoiling with a low disturbance tool.

What is subsoiling a small portion of your property?

By subsoiling a small portion of your property, you can conduct a controlled experiment in order to see for yourself if this is something you need. The results could either dazzle or dismay, but the more you know about your soil’s needs, the better you will be able to farm it in the long run. Tweet.

Is clay soil low maintenance?

Some soils are naturally more low maintenance whereas other soils need to be coaxed along by actions such as subsoiling. For example, silty or clay loam soil is naturally prone to compression on its own but this compression increases with the passage of heavy machinery atop it.

How much more yields do corn and soybeans get on subsoiled plots?

Corn and soybeans grown on subsoiled plots yielded about 5 percent more than crops grown on nonsubsoiled ground during a study begun in 1991 at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in northwest Ohio.

Where is Hoytville soil?

The study was conducted on Hoytville silty clay loam soil, a poorly drained soil common in northwestern Ohio, Reeder says.

What is a subsoiler?

A subsoiler is a type of tillage implement that’s used to break up compacted soil in an effort to improve the setting for growing crops. Frontier subsoilers can be attached to John Deere equipment to penetrate 24 inches into the ground, which is an idea depth for ripping tree roots in a treeline as well as ripping hardpan in a trail. A compact utility tractor is best-suited to haul and host the subsoiler attachment.

How much does soil compaction affect crop yields?

In fact, according to the University of Wisconsin-Extension, compacted soil can reduce yields by as much as 50 percent.

Is compacted soil difficult to handle?

While there are a number of ways to alleviate soil compaction that impacts the surface level of soil, compacted subsoil can be a bit more difficult to handle. For this reason, it’s important to understand the subsoiling process.

What soils benefit from subsoiling?

Some soils benefit from subsoiling – for example, soils that have had intensive root crops in them. Soils with a low calcium content that are high in silt or sand and low in organic matter will benefit the most – as will the type of ground that slumps over time or is subjected to heavy rainfall before crop cover.

Why are some fields subsoiled?

Due to the nature of the dry summer, some fields may have been naturally subsoiled, explains Mr Wright.

What land preparations are available for planting cover crops?

Potatoes land preparation . Sugar beet land preparation. Wheat land preparation. Subsoiling is also an option for those growing or planning to plant cover crops if there are concerns that the roots won’t go through the soil to the required depth.

How to relieve compaction in soil?

To relieve compaction, it is important to subtly lift the soil and stretch it – to create vertical cracks – this is where it is vital that the soil is dry enough to crack. If it’s too wet it will be like plasticine and won’t shatter.

How to tell if a plant is compaction?

Classical signs of compaction include differing moisture levels – there will be a sudden change in moisture at a certain depth in the profile. And if there is a change or absence of roots, look closer.

What is Mr Wright’s final tip for anyone considering subsoiling?

Mr Wright has one final tip for anyone considering subsoiling, which is particularly relevant this year: “Less is more.”

How does soil structure improve?

Soil structure improves through nature – physical interactions like shrinking, freezing, drying and cracking as well as the biological effect of worms, plant roots and fungi . “You have to help nature do the job, which is where metal can come in”, says Mr Wright. Here are his seven top tips for successful subsoiling. 1.

Why is a subsoiler important?

The subsoiler was developed as a response to the unpredictable rainfall found throughout Australia’s arid agricultural lands. The unique feature of the plough is a specialized shank that can deeply penetrate the soil without causing a major disturbance to the soil biology structure itself, and this soil preservation approach follows in line with the benefits of no-till seed drills. Subsoiling in general serves multiple functions, the more important being breaking up compacted soils; however, the use of a Yeoman shank minimally disturbs soil microbe habitats (see research note: Soil Health and Ecology for additional information). Subsoiling increases the amount of oxygen, water, and nutrients to depths which would take years to reach otherwise. With a well-managed pasture system, subsoiling can aid in the production of topsoil, increase general fertility, and greatly increases the water holding capacity of soils.

Where is the keypoint in a subsoiler?

Keyline pattern subsoiling begins by establishing the keypoint on the land base. The keypoint is found at the point where the valley exhibits its steepest slope; this point is generally just below the point of inflection, which is defined as the point where the land changes from a concave to a convex shape (figure 1; top). The keyline is a special contour line that intersects the keypoint. Once the keypoint and keyline have been established, a specialized subsoiler is used to trace the keyline in a parallel manner up and down the slope.

What can Algoma farmers expect?

Algoma farmers can expect increased water retention and distribution, pasture growth and soil health with the implementation of keyline subsoiling. This simple tool offers land managers a degree of resilience against drought and flooding damage associated with the current unstable weather patterns.

What is a subsoiler?

A Subsoiler is a tillage attachment that many crop owners use nowadays especially when soil compaction occurs . It needs a utility tractor to mount or host this type of attachment. You are then capable of driving this tool on your farmland and let the angled shanks to loosen up the soil. Some of the Subsoiler blades (shank) can reach up …

When is the best time to subsoil?

To benefit from subsoiling working out the best timing is the main thing. Early autumn is generally the best time to subsoil since soil stays relatively drier this time around. By the way, never attempt subsoiling when it’s too wet. Wet soil contains more clay and less likely to shatter.

How deep can a subsoiler reach?

Some of the Subsoiler blades (shank) can reach up to 30 inches into the soil. Due to breaking up soil to such depth subsoiling is ideal to tear hardpans and reduce the chances of drowning in wet conditions. Hardpan, by the way, is an outcome of soil compaction.

Why is wet soil important?

Wet soil contains more clay and less likely to shatter. This will then restrict vertical cracks, an important feature of subsoiling that allows roots to bore into the soil. If you grow rapeseed as part of the rotation make sure to subsoil before winter.

Why is deep tillage important?

In such a situation, deep tillage like subsoiling is useful. It will break up hard-packed soil allowing standing water better access,and improvingroot aeration at the same time. Vegetation will flourish as a result, since more nutrients and minerals can readily penetrate the deep soil.

How to run a subsoiler?

Once your subsoiler is ready to take on, run it a few yards at full speed first and verify whether it is achieving the proper vertical cranks. Depending on the severity of the compaction, and the number of legs, you may have to run the Subsoiler a few paces over the hardpan. When loosening the soil, you don’t need to smear up, instead push them upwards to grow an effective channel at the base.

Can you pull a subsoiler into the soil?

However, remember that pulling a Subsoiler recklessly into the soil won’t solve it you need to do this in a proper way.You should be careful about the timing and learn the correct depth to use it. Otherwise, you’ll be asking for more troubles in the long run.

How successful is subsoiling?

nder ideal conditions, subsoiling should be 75 to 80 percent successful in breaking up compacted layers. In some cases, two passes at an angle to each other may be required to completely fracture compacted soil. The ground should be lifted slightly and remain rela- tively even behind the subsoiler, without major disruption of surface residues and plants. No more than a little subsoil and a few rocks should be pulled to the surface. If large furrows form behind the subsoiler, the shanks may not be deep

What is the best time to subsoil?

SFor most areas, ideal subsoiling conditions are during summer months before the soils are completely dry. Soils should crumble without sticking together, yet not be so dry and hard that they can’t be broken up easily. The timing of ideal conditions will vary depending on the local climate. Contractors may prefer subsoiling wet ground because doing so is easier on their equipment and requires less fuel. oils should be mostly dry and friable. If the soil is too wet, subsoiler shanks will slide through the ground without breaking up the soil. The shank can actually glaze the soil and compact it even more. If the soil is extremely dry, getting the subsoiler into the ground can be difficult, requiring larger, more powerful tractors to pull the shanks through compacted areas. Soils, especially those with more clay content, can actually break into large clods or slabs if conditions are too dry.

How many shanks can a subsoiler pull?

It may be best to specify smaller, lighter equipment to reduce ground pressure during subsoil- ing operations. Smaller, lighter equipment probably can’t pull more than two to three shanks in most applications.

How does a subsoiler reset?

Shanks that reset automatically (figure 5b) use a spring- loaded mechanism that allows the shank to hinge back when it hits objects in the ground. The shanks typically withstand 3,000 to 7,000 pounds of force before hinging. The shanks snap forward and reset after the subsoiler has passed the object. Shanks that reset automatically are more expensive than those that rely on shear bolts, but require less repair time in the field. Some subsoilers use hydraulic systems with accumulators (hydraulic devices that store energy) to absorb force on the shank. the subsoiler. Coulters for forest applications must be able to withstand forest conditions and impacts with rocks and stumps. Their height should be adjustable and they should be larger than the standard 20- to 24-inch diameter coulters, so the mounting frames clear residues on the forest floor and will not plug up the subsoiler. Coulters come in several designs, including straight and fluted.

How deep can a three-shank subsoiler fracture?

Figure 1—This three-shank subsoiler attaches to a tractor’s three-point hitch. It can fracture compacted layers 12 to 22 inches below the soil surface.

How does oil become compacted?

oils can become deeply compacted in areas tracked by heavy equipment during timber harvesting, firefighting, fuel reduction, cultivation, or other forest management operations. Layers of compacted soil restrict the movement of water, air, and roots, reducing the survival and growth of trees and other plants.

How far below the surface is a compacted layer?

Often, the compacted layers are 12 to 22 inches below the surface. A special piece of equipment, known as a subsoiler, can break up the compacted layer without destroying surface vegetation and residue or mixing soil layers. This report contains information on subsoiling equipment and its use.


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