LAST year was notable for the absence of subsoil moisture throughout the Wheatbelt.
Yet Nufab Industries has received reports from owners of the company's Hydramax Deep Ripper of surprising results, showing the benefits of deep ripping in a dry year.
According to Nufab marketing and operations manager Chris Bechard, some of the reports coming in from owners "is nothing short of astonishing and shows the benefits of ultra deep ripping in any season".
"Most farmers would be aware of the well below average season experienced in many parts of the State last year, particularly the Mid West," he said.
"One farmer who recently purchased a 4.5 metre shallow leading tyne Hydramax Deep Ripper solely for pasture renovation, said that had he not deep-ripped he would have had to either buy in feed or alternatively sell some of his stock due to lack of biomass."
Mr Bechard said it was common to hear of yield increases in the Mid West of 200 to 300 kilograms from ultra deep ripped compared against non-ripped crops.
"While the increase appears modest by number, when it is viewed against un-ripped results of 700 to 800 kilograms a hectare versus ripped at about 1100kg/ha, the increase represents a yield increase of about 25 to 30 per cent, which in most cases is the difference in break even or a profit," Mr Bechard said.
"The most impressive result so far has been from an Esperance farmer who reported yield increases of 700kg/ha in canola and more than three tonnes a hectare in barley.
"He told me the Hydramax had paid for itself many times over in the past three years and it has been a game-changer for the farm.
"He also mentioned that they used to be farmers looking over the other side of the fence to see what their neighbours were doing.
"And now the neighbours are looking over the fence to see what he is doing.
"What the above figures confirm is what we have been saying for a number of years.
"Ripping helps increasing farm profitability in average to good seasons and is a good insurance policy in below average years."
The Hydramax can be equipped with the new longer legs, to rip mainly loam and sandy country.
It has a working width of six metres with 11 legs spaced at 500 millimetres and has been worked to a depth of 850mm.