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Discussion Starter #21
well masseydane, i don't think a post crop of mustard would work here. either it's too dry after harvest for a small seed crop to emerge, or it's too short a time before we get frost. Plus the thought of losing moisture for next years crop scares me.Anyways, we have an update!! We did about 20 ac with the rig, and noticed that the bottom of those "shoes" were wearing off already. So we took the old blades, cut the wings off until we had about 6-8" shovels. We tried the update yesterday, and it makes a big difference. You can notice the soil shattering and lifitng about 6-8" on each side of the shank. It also pulls much harder ( stopped the 4620 cold in one spot of alkali). We aren't going to double up anymore this year for experimenting, just to see what happens next year. We plan on only doing about 50 ac on 5 quarters, most of it being low spots where the water just seems to sit FOREVER! You really can notice where the hardpan is, once you get out of it, it pulls easy and the soil just flows around the shanks. It doesn't disturb the soil as much as cnotills video. That's all i can think of for now. More updates to come, I hope!
 

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Quote:So we took the old blades, cut the wings off until we had about 6-8" shovels.

Sweet. I was thinking about that, but I decided it wouldn't work because one would cut off all the bolt holes to mount the sweep. I guess we've got a different style foot-thingy on the leg (we call it a frog). Best of luck with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
well kevin, and everyone else within earshot, we did our last ripping today. Figured this should give us a really good idea of how it's going to work on our farm. The quarter we did was so hard that there were many places that the 4620 just couldn't do it at 9", or any depth at all. I have never seen anything that hard before. I'll try to remember my camera tomorrow so I can post the pics of the "shovels" we put on. We dug with a spade on unripped soil and all we could dig was 3", it just wouldn't go in. Once we ripped in the row, we could go down a foot. Didn't try inbetween, but I expect there was a difference. It wasn't like it was dry underneath, there was some white soil on the shank from at least a foot down, and it was wet. This is alkali soil, and the alfalfa beside it never quit growing all year, so there has to be moisture from springs. Just the roots can't get it. We'll see what happens next year.
 

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I used a ripper much like this one last fall http://www.equipmentlocator.com/asp/eDet....a-en/close/yes/

I had 5 shanks and an NH 8970 MFD (all rented) and it would use the tractor up really bad. I was going about 12-16 in deep. My soils are clay and the good top soil is only a few in deep. I don't have any rocks to deal with on the fields that I used it on. I raised the best beans I have ever raised on one field and on another I have corn and it looks great. One side note also did grid sample the field and apply Phos,zinc,sulf,ect accordingly. We also needed to get some lime on but it didn't work last fall with late rains last fall..
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Thanks for the comments everyone. A few more questions though. (Will they ever end?!?!) Is there any benefit to subsoiling 12-16"? Its sounds really deep. Just curious to see if the extra hp/fuel/wear is worth going the extra 6-8". I know one guy around here is doing 15" deep, says he's going that deep on the alkali to break it up so that when it rains, the salt can go down out of the cropping zone. We did about 8-9" on the alkali we tried, and it seemed to break the hardpan that was underneath it. You could see 2' chunks of soil move when we did. Just curious on personal experiences. By the way okpanhandle, like the milo pics!!!
 

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The dry is certainly the time to rip or subsoil. Doing it in wet conditions is like running a knife through butter, it will cause smearing & wont achieve what you want it to.
 

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Quote:Thanks for the comments everyone. A few more questions though. (Will they ever end?!?!) Is there any benefit to subsoiling 12-16"? Its sounds really deep. Just curious to see if the extra hp/fuel/wear is worth going the extra 6-8". I know one guy around here is doing 15" deep, says he's going that deep on the alkali to break it up so that when it rains, the salt can go down out of the cropping zone. We did about 8-9" on the alkali we tried, and it seemed to break the hardpan that was underneath it. You could see 2' chunks of soil move when we did. Just curious on personal experiences. By the way okpanhandle, like the milo pics!!!

Thanks. Glad you liked them. As for deeper tillage, it really kind of depends. On irrigated ground we run the disc-ripper 12-14 inches deep. Dryland is different, though. If I was ripping in the fall and could expect some good snow and rain during the winter, I'd go that 12 inches deep, then the snow could replenish the moisture I just lost by ripping. Our subsoil can hold a lot of water and I think it's good to get it broken up so it can soak deep. Even if the roots don't reach it, I'd rather have the moisture in the subsoil than in the ditch. Plus, when it's dry the plant roots will have an easier time getting down to find the moisture. After August our dryland milo was getting by on subsoil moisture alone. The hard spots are very noticeable.

However, if you think 8 or 9 inches is doing a good job then I'd stick with that. As long as the main plowpan is getting broken you're doing fine. I do like the idea of going deeper in your alkali spots, but if I understand right the groundwater would just seep back there, right? Deep tillage and (preferably) irrigation is about the only way to reclaim the saltwater spills we have here, a consequence of the oil industry. We've spent the better part of 15 years getting an abandoned well site back into production, now the new owners of the field want to redrill that well.


I like to experiment with things so I'd try going deeper in those alkali spots, but that's just me. Good luck!

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Thanks kevin. I guess we'll see what happens next year. The fellow that has ripped before said the year after there was a little difference beside the cut, and it took 3 years to notice a difference across the entire width. Another question for you and others, do you want the soil to shatter and lift across the entire width, or just in one area? Just wondering if the hardpan will break down if it isn't shattered and you just cut through it. You are right about it being hard though!
The hardpan is 3" below, you can't even dig into it with a spade, it's like cement!! If (and probably when) we get a ripper, we will make sure to try different depths.
FYI when we did try at 9", when you did hit hardpan, you could see the whole soil profile shift, so I'm wondering if it won't be enough..... but like you say, good to experiment!

BTW hope the milo harvest is going well!
 

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I ripped a lot of land about 8 years ago, and still think it was a good idea. Our conditions that fall were quite dry. We pulled up soil clods that were huge. Fortunately, that winter was wet, and the soils mellowed out to good seedbeds.

I used a DMI Eco-tiger and pulled it with a Cat 55. It was a 5 shank, with inter row points, and a pt crumbler. We went as deep as possible, about 15 inches.

When I do it again, I will not rip anywhere drainage water runs across the soil. Water eroded gullies at the bottoms of some waterways where the waterway ends as the field flattens out. I also won't make an outside pass at the edge of the field on the downhill side of slopes where there is a road ditch. The soil collapsed into the road ditch after a heavy rain.

I firmly believe the only time to rip clay subsoils is when they are dry. I know nothing about any other type of subsoil, as I don't have any.
 

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Bent makes a good point about ripping when the soil is dry. I think someone else mentioned it earlier, as well. The hardpan will fracture easier and if it's too wet the shanks will just smear and cause more problems. Working with a little moisture shouldn't cause any problems, though; as long as it's not muddy. I guess you're going to plant wheat on this ground? With wheat I'd like to shatter that hardpan as much as possible, but I think that every little bit helps. It just might take a little longer to notice results. If you were going to plant, say, sunflowers, just opening up a trench in the fall would be more than adequate, then you can plant right over that trench next spring. If you're a good driver GPS isn't necessary; just have to have good markers on the ripper.

We also have a DMI 530B, but without the crumbler. It will leave the whole field soft. We rarely use it on dryland, though. Judging by your pictures water erosion won't be too big of a problem, providing you retain some cover and your slopes aren't any steeper than what your pics show. With the low disturbance straight shanks and points on the inter-row ripper I don't worry about erosion on our small hills. If we work at an angle to the slope instead of straight up and down the cuts made will slow down the water and lessen erosion.

We have some irrigated ground around the house that's going into beans next year and I'd like to run the inter-row ripper through it this winter. If that happens I'll definitely take some pictures. Our inter-row ripper is made by Bigham Brothers and has seven shanks which makes it a 6 row for row-crop work. Here's a link:
http://www.bighambrothers.com/megatill.htm
 

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Zeefarmer what kind of cops are you growing up there the reason im asking is i wonder, do you grow anything like canola or alfalfa with roots that goes real deep and fills in the cracks and crevises you make with your ripper cause a lot of people overhere believe it enhances the effect of the ripping/subsoiling obviosly you put that in as a first crop after the ripping maybe even with an airseder on the ripper its done quite a bit in england.

Bo
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Well masseydane, we usually do grow canola (not large acres usually) and we have NO desire to grow alfalfa. We don't have any cattle or haying equipment for us to personally deal with it, so it means that we have to find someone to cut/bale/haul the bales, and in our area, it's kinda hit and miss from year to year. On the one bad quarter that has the alkali, there is actually hay on three sides of it, and it does amazing. They usually get two cuts off of it, which is unheard of here!
Also, our landlord who owns the quarter has no desire to have alfalfa.
We've farmed the quarter for 4 years now, and have put barley on the real bad spots every year, and you would not believe what the barley can do!! Even the landlord can't believe where it's growing now, where NOTHING grew before.

We have planned to put canola there at somepoint in time, but we have a VERY SERIOUS gopher problem out there (and everywhere else too it seems!!
). The gophers absolutely love the young canola plants and guys around here have lost whole fields to these destructive little guys!

We are going to wait for the gopher population to die down first before we try that.

Thanks for the input, I can't wait to see the difference it all makes!
 

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youre wellcome so gophers like canola too, overhere we have a problem with snails or slugs if you want they absolutely love canola too i wish you best of luck.

Bo
 

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Kinda off topic, but I have to ask, Zeefarmer, how do you expect the gopher population to die down? We have huge problems with jackrabbits around here; they'll eat anything that isn't a weed. I'm thinking that after harvest, when we're not too busy, a bunch of rabbits will die of lead poisoning (i.e. my trusty 12 gauge and a big box of cheap No. 6 shot). I was hoping a harsh winter would take care of some of them, but the darn things are like the Terminator; they'll be back.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Well, those little pests hopefully took a real kicking this fall with the weasels, badgers and hawks around. Alot of guys have noticed that they had big black spots on them, so hopefully disease will knock them down too. But Mother Nature only can do so much.

Fortunately, we have gotten emergency registration for 2% strycnine for our area, so alot of guys have gotten cases of it, getting ready for next year. A person has to be out early in the spring with the strycnine, before there is green grass for them to eat. You mix the liquid strycnine with grain (usually oats the gophers tend to go for them over any other cereal), and spread the mixture around and inside their holes. The reason the gov't has been so dang slow in getting it out was the risk imposed to hawks, owls, etc.
We have had SERIOUS problems with them the past 3 years, but it has been especially bad to the south of us. A co-op store about 30 min from us sold 7 MILLION rounds of ammo from March to September
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We have tried everything, from gas, phostoxin pills NON-EFFECTIVE gopher poisons. Some guys hve even tried Juicy Fruit gum, because it apparently bunged up their insides.
Never worked from what we heard!!


It is sad because guys have lost up to 1000 ac EACH from them. It is not uncommon to hear that the gophers took 50-100 ac from an individual farmer, so we'll see if we can't make a dent in the population!!
 

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Lordy! 7 million rounds! That's enough to take over a small country! Last year my brothers and I were carrying the .22s in the tractor (safely, of course) and it wasn't hard to kill 20+ rabbits in a day. But I quit doing that because it's a hassle to stop every time I see one of the boogers.

We have a couple fields that we can't plant sunflowers on anymore because the rabbits are too thick. We lost about 15 acres of beans and maybe 20 acres of wheat this year and I don't know how much they hurt the milo yields. I though we had it bad, but dang, 50-100 acres lost being common... I feel for you guys. Best of luck, hope you get them thinned out.
 

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Speaking of field loss, first year we planted garbozo beans 80 ac field. 2 acres walked off with the Mexicans. Now we sell them $15 as much as they can carry per trip.
 
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