DEEP ripping is entrenched in farmers’ vocabulary.
But with increasing understanding of tillage practices, perhaps ‘soil amelioration’ is a more accurate term.
It is certainly where Bednar agent and Morawa farmer Grant Borgward wants to position the Czech-made Terraland TO chisel plough in the WA market.
According to Mr Borgward, the Terraland represents a one-pass solution to soil renovation and amelioration in light sandy soils and a giant ripper in medium to heavy country.
“With this machine you can rip and incorporate like a spader,” Mr Borgward said.
“So in effect you can resolve issues such as non-wetting and low topsoil pH while working on the deeper soil profile.
“Trials in WA have shown significant elevation of soil pH within one year because of the incorporation effect of the Terraland.
“And visually, crops certainly look better compared with controls.”
The Terraland TO model comprises two rows of heavy duty tynes with carbide and hard-faced chisel points fitted below a wing assembly that effectively mixes soil.
A following tandem spiky roller completes the incorporation, followed by V-shaped rollers for levelling.
It is designed for intensive tillage at depths of up to 55 centimetres on a six metre working width, while mixing to a depth of 350 millimetres.
The central frame is formed by four-girders and the frames of working sections are made of 150mm x 150mm profile for higher resistance.
Having a rear drawbar means the Bednar Cutterpack or Presspack trailed packers can be connected to the machine to finish off the job.
Mr Borgward said the technology of the Bednar Terraland was designed to help the farmer bring the sub soil, which is richer in potassium and clay particles, more to the surface while ripping deep into the profile.
“In trials in WA, the shape of the Terraland tyne matched with the 80mm-wide chisels – which are 30cm in length – did a great job of bringing up the soil from below with a higher clay content, which increases the soils nutrient-holding capacity and increases potassium content of the topsoil,” he said.
“It also reduces non-wetting sand as it is diluted with clay resulting from the mixing action of the Terraland.
“The Terraland leaves the soil enriched with extra nutrient mixed well throughout the profile with no hard pans down to 55cm and firms and evenly mixes the topsoil with the tandem spiky roller.
“With the range of blade widths from 40mm to 80mm and also the option of delving blades, you can simply tool the machine up or down in blade size depending on the amount of mixing that needs to be achieved in each paddock.
“Mixing sand and clay evenly is very important for improved soil structure, so if you have clayed, mouldboarded or delved results will be further enhanced if you mix and rip it with the Terraland.
“Almost every farm in WA has a hard pan at 125mm or 150mm, some form of top soil or subsoil acidity and small to large areas of non-wetting sands.
“The Terraland offers you the versatility of a super deep ripper as well at varying depths, depending on soil type.
“It also becomes a mini-delver when you put the biggest delving blades on it and bring the clay to the surface.
“The shape of the tyne and the mixing wings on either side of the tyne ensures thorough mixing of the soil beneath the surface and the giant tandem spiky rollers mix the topsoil and pack it down firm to lock in the moisture and level the paddock for a seed bed, leaving a dimple pattern on the surface which is best prevention for wind erosion and great for water infiltration when it does rain.”
Wongan Hills farmer Robert Sewell, who has been deep ripping for 40 years, bought two Terraland models each with a 6.45m cut last month and initial trials have impressed him.
“It’s a true renovator,” he said.
“We’ll be looking to incorporate lime at depth (60cm) plus doing a few more things to improve the soil’s water-holding capacity.
“We know deep ripping works and this machine will become another tool in the toolbox to improve our productivity.”