Deep Ripping – Where It Will Work (And Where It Won’t)

GRDC - Roger Armstrong and Murray Hart (Agriculture Victoria Research, Horsham, Victoria), Ehsan Tavakkoli (NSW DPI, Wagga Wagga, NSW), Nigel Wilhelm (SARDI, Waite Research Precinct, Urrbrae, SA), David Davenport (PIRSA, Rural Solutions SA, Port Lincoln, SA), Geoff Dean (Tasmanian Institute for Agriculture, Mount Pleasant Laboratories, Kings Meadow, Tasmania), Jack Desbiolles (Agricultural Machinery R&D Centre, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, SA) and Peter Sale (Department of Animal & Plant Sciences, Centre for Agribioscience, LaTrobe University, Bundoora, Victoria).

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

The authors of this paper note in the conclusion: "Potential yield benefits arising from deep ripping are strongly soil type specific and the longevity of benefits is influenced by post-ripping management. Although major yield responses to deep ripping have been recorded on sandy soils in the Southern Region, few benefits or yield depressions are likely on clay soils or shallow duplex soils with physicochemical constraints in the subsoil. A thorough soil sampling and analysis program is recommended to diagnose these constraints. If deep ripping is undertaken, a range of logistical factors need to be considered including soil moisture, depth of ripping, implement design and speed of operations to maximise yield benefits and reduce costs." Please access the full paper via the link below if this research interests you.

The take home messages from this GRDC funded research are below. Please access the full paper via the link below for methodology, references, acknowledgements and discussion.

Take home messages from the paper include:

  • Deep ripping is most likely to improve grain yields on sandy soils where upper parts of the soil profile have been compacted by machinery traffic.
  • Deep ripping is less effective on heavy clay soils which appears related to subsoil constraints.
  • On clay soils with subsoil constraints, the application of ameliorants such as gypsum and organic matter in combination with deep ripping can often result in yield improvements.
  • Post-ripping traffic management is critical for maintaining benefits, as is implement design and soil moisture conditions when conducting the operation.
  • A thorough testing program is recommended to diagnose soil constraints to depth before undertaking any amelioration practices
  • Soil type can vary markedly across a paddock, and the use of 3D spatial mapping to target where to treat specific soil constraints and minimise costs is currently being investigated.

2020 - Australia - GRDC - Roger Armstrong and Murray Hart (Agriculture Victoria Research, Horsham, Victoria), Ehsan Tavakkoli (NSW DPI, Wagga Wagga, NSW), Nigel Wilhelm (SARDI, Waite Research Precinct, Urrbrae, SA), David Davenport (PIRSA, Rural Solutions SA, Port Lincoln, SA), Geoff Dean (Tasmanian Institute for Agriculture, Mount Pleasant Laboratories, Kings Meadow, Tasmania), Jack Desbiolles (Agricultural Machinery R&D Centre, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, SA) and Peter Sale (Department of Animal & Plant Sciences, Centre for Agribioscience, LaTrobe University, Bundoora, Victoria).
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