Friday, March 30, 2012

March 2012 : Subsoiling

Here is a photo of Francie sitting in a field. She is thoroughly upset. Where is the broccoli?

My first attempt at subsoiling was somewhat of a bust. Proper subsoiling fractures the soil to a depth of upto 24". The surface is minimally disturbed and certainly the soil is not inverted. This technique requires big horsepower to reach maximum depth and maintain high speeds.

In my thought experiments I knew I would not be able to maintain both depth and speed so I opted to maintain speed to achieve the desired fracturing action. Multiple passes would be necessary to fracture to the proper depth.

Two variables I had not anticipated. Shallow subsoiling, particularly with a well rooted winter rye cover crop, forms large clods. The surface was more than minimally disturbed. These clods forced the second pass to be completed at slower speeds. The soil was not completely fractured to the desired depth.

So my first subsoil experience was less than perfect. But the field conditions are better than before I started. The shallow hardpan is certainly gone. And revving and roaring a tractor with a ground engaging attachment was certainly a thrill.