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Irrigate or Aerate? Find out how soil aeration helps during a 'dry'

Posted by Sam Searle on Jan 6, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Do you rely heavily on irrigation to prevent your pasture turning brown through summer? Or have you noticed reduced pasture resilience to warm and dry spells?

Subsoil compaction may well be the culprit!

Read on to find out how you overcome this & take advantage of water sitting in your subsoils!
Come the summer months when the temperatures rise and rainfall & moisture levels drop, the top soil layers tend to lose their moisture, with plants then relying on access to lower portions of the soil layers for access to water.

However, when subsoil compaction is present plant roots are prevented from accessing this moisture as roots tend to ‘matt’ & grow laterally due to an impenetrable layer of soil as seen in the below video.

How to overcome soil compaction

Compacted soil layers can be loosened & repaired with Subsoil Aeration. By aerating the subsoil you increase the porosity & permeability of the soil which then enables roots to grow deeper & more vigorously into the lower subsoil layers. This allows them to access water and nutrients in lower soil layers that would have otherwise been inaccessible.

Effect of subsoil compaction on root growth

Effect of subsoil compaction on root growth & access to ground water

Once compacted soil layers are removed, pastures & crops become more resilient to dry spells & less reliant on frequent irrigation to stay productive over the summer months.

Listen to what Tony West has to say about his Rata Panerazer & the results he's been getting from subsoil aeration of his pasture & crop paddocks.

For more info on soil compaction, what it costs you in $ terms & how to identify it, see our All about Subsoil Aeration & Compaction Page

Rata's 304 Panerazer has become the most popular grassland & crop country aerator! Check it out here

Topics: Pasture & Crop Management, Soil Aeration & Drainage