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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Didn't realize how bad the hard pan is on my red dirt. Canola tap root goes about 2 inch down, then sideways.

The reason people don't rip or plow there red rocky load is because everyone says that you'll loose moisture when you cultivate, which is true, but the ground is so hard the rainfall can't penetrate the soil, which is where I think if ripped it would greatly increase the water holding capacity of the soil and there's barely any moisture down there anyway.

This is GT-50 roundup ready canola which yielded 1.3t/ha on 210mm during growing season. So not too bad.

My agronomist told me im wrong, but no harm in a trial.

We do barely any seedbed preperation in west Australia, apart from mouldboarding our yellow sands to eliminate non wetting sand.

Some input from other farmers who have experience with this would be appreciated.
 

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Seen the exact same thing here on a neighbours place with canola last year - roots growing at 90deg along the disc mark. That summer after harvest he speed tillered that paddock and although I never pulled a plant out this year to look at the root growth, his canola was over 5 foot 8 high. Haven't asked him what it yielded.

Not for all areas but I think the red soils out here even with CTT needs loosening up every 5 years or so. Our Agro has even said that.
 

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With soil pan like that, you will loose a lot more moisture if you don`t cultivate...from run-off.
You need to rip it open. It will make a big difference.
Probably the most cost effective way to do this is to simply use a tyned cultivator with high breakout and narrow 1" planting points.
Something like a flexicoil 820 bar with 650 lb trips on 10/12" spacing.
The moisture content of the soil when you rip is critical...it`s a balancing act between too wet and too dry. The soil needs to be dry enough to get some shatter and wet enough that it does not pull up in big slabs, or you will make a complete mess.
I`m guessing you have red sandy/clay loam? Go in when you have had about 1 inch rain on a dry soil, but wait til the top 2" has dried out again before beginning, so that the moisture is in the hardpan layer.
If you have hard pan at 2 inches, see how deep it goes before you start. I would guess that it goes from 2" to about 5/6 inches. Set your machine to run about 5/6 inches deep, depending on conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
With soil pan like that, you will loose a lot more moisture if you don`t cultivate...from run-off.
You need to rip it open. It will make a big difference.
Probably the most cost effective way to do this is to simply use a tyned cultivator with high breakout and narrow 1" planting points.
Something like a flexicoil 820 bar with 650 lb trips on 10/12" spacing.
The moisture content of the soil when you rip is critical...it`s a balancing act between too wet and too dry. The soil needs to be dry enough to get some shatter and wet enough that it does not pull up in big slabs, or you will make a complete mess.
I`m guessing you have red sandy/clay loam? Go in when you have had about 1 inch rain on a dry soil, but wait til the top 2" has dried out again before beginning, so that the moisture is in the hardpan layer.
If you have hard pan at 2 inches, see how deep it goes before you start. I would guess that it goes from 2" to about 5/6 inches. Set your machine to run about 5/6 inches deep, depending on conditions.
cheers for the advice, really appreciate it. my old man didn't agree with me at first, but im slowly getting there haha.

yeah its red loam with clay and quite rocky with quartz and granite, hydraulic breakout would be more ideal so I dont pull up huge rocks.

We bought a John Deere 1870 conservapak last week that gets here in february and we plan to sow fert at 4 inches. wont eliminate the hard pan, but should be alot better than the spring tyne setup we run now.

currently looking for a old seeder bar like you said to use as a ripper as 12" spacings.
 

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We ran disc drill for many years and I'm sure people thought we were nuts when we took the chisel plow after some ground. It was worth it and had not seen a crop like that for many years on that ground. If you farm heavy clay ground wherever you are in the world it can be difficult. I don't think the chisel needs to be used every year. We struggle with planting cover crops in this area because we don't have enough time between the harvest and the first frost.
 
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