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Senior Contributor

New ripper/subsoiler

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Getting serious about purchasing a inline ripper/subsoiler. Leaning toward Umverferth, or Deere. Would like something that will get down to my deep hard pan, which is about 20". Want something that will break up soil deep, but leave the surface relatively undisturbed.
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Senior Advisor

Re: New ripper/subsoiler

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I've never used one Buck but my neighbor has a Deere that he pulls every year and runs his air seeder directly after it. I have no idea of a model number.
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Senior Contributor

Re: New ripper/subsoiler

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I have some thoughts. In my area loam with clay below, many farmers learned, after using hard pan breakers, the field became even more muddy in the following years.  Somehow the hard pan became more solid in a next years.  I do not know why, maybe because in my area we have good rainfall.  

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Senior Contributor

Re: New ripper/subsoiler

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Yes 46 I known I'm moving my hard pan down. I would rather it be at 24" than 4" like I get with notill. 4" is where my clay starts. I started grain farming about twelve years ago. 100% notill. one year I ran out of whatever I was using for burndown. I borrowed the neighbor's disk just to finish up planting ahead of a rain. Then it didn't rain the rest of the summer. Notill yield was about 25 BPA. The disked ground was around 100. Since then I've been experimenting with different tillage every year
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Senior Contributor

Re: New ripper/subsoiler

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I am only expressing a thought.  I do not have any answers for your soil.  I no-till a rented piece of land for 20  years.  The owner believe the soil needed tillage, I refused, and lost the land.  The next year the land produce a record crop after plowing and all the tillage to level and plant.  The 2nd year, the crop was less than aveage. The 3 rd year was a total failure and the farmer let the land go. I know this because the I farmed the adjoining land. 

 

It is wrong for me to think, I know anything about your soil and the conditions you are living in.  Whatever you do , keep a open mind. 

 

 

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Senior Contributor

Re: New ripper/subsoiler

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I wish I farmed in a area where notill worked. I actually feel guilty when I do tillage. I also hate to spend the time and diesel fuel deep tilling. I know it's not good for soil health. And most of my ground is HEL. I have an old home made subsoiler and like the way I can bust up the clay deep and leave over 90% residue cover. I'm having a hard time getting parts and don't have time to build what I need the way I did in the past.
Sounds like that farm you lost had a lot of carbon built up. when the new guy tilled it, it was released the first year. After which they "paid a penalty" as it can't be rebuilt as long as its being tilled.
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Senior Contributor

Re: New ripper/subsoiler

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Shag, that's kind of what I hope to do. Only with corn. I may pull a chain harrow behind the ripper to smooth anything to rough to plant through. I may have to go back to a more notill setup on my planter.
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Senior Advisor

Re: New ripper/subsoiler

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Have you ever tried experimenting with a plot of cover crops? Maybe some type of radish could break through your hard pad naturally. I've dedicated one farm to my own cover crop research starting last year. I'm not completely sold, but I'm not 100% convinced they don't work either. I've been no-tilling for 3 years after an eternity of conventional tillage. I am trying different things on different farms and will see for myself first hand what works best for me. Good luck moving forward.
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Senior Contributor

Re: New ripper/subsoiler

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Sorry hit the wrong spot in this screen.
Radishes were a very revealing cover crop last fall. They grew great at first. Then started to grow up out of the ground. Some digging discovered that when the tap root hit the hard pan (8"-12" deep) it started growing sideways. the downward growth of the main part of the radish stoped and all growth from that point was above the ground.
I think the best cover crop for me to break my hard pan may be rye grass with it's small, fine roots. I've dug it up before and found roots deeper than what the radishes were.
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Senior Advisor

Re: New ripper/subsoiler

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Funny you said that Buck. I had a neighbor that planted a small strip of radishes and he said the exact thing. They reached the hard pad and then proceeded to grow upward out of the ground. I wonder if this is a characteristic of all radish or just the tillage radish.
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