SOIL AERATION OFTEN OVERLOOKED
In modern farming practices the advantages of using a soil aerator to break up compacted and pugged soils to lift pasture production are often overlooked. Intense stocking rates, strip grazing, heavy machinery and prolonged winter rainfall will leave soils vulnerable to pugging and compaction. Greatest compaction will occur at a depth of 180 to 250mm which means ploughing and re-grassing will not fix the problem. Advantages gained by using a Winton Aerator on both pasture and cropping paddocks are:-
- Improved drainage - The free draining soil will allow rain water to pass through into drains or enter the water table reducing ponding and runoff.
- Reduced surface runoff - During heavy rain the less compacted soils allow the rain water to soak into the ground thus retaining both animal and artificial fertiliser on the farm and reduces contaminated runoff into waterways.
- Reduced soil erosion - With less surface runoff there will be less erosion of the top soil resulting in a more sustainable farming practice.
- Increased pasture root mass and depth - With less compaction the grass root mass and depth will increase that will enable the plant to feed and grow better.
- Releases locked up soil nutrients - With extra plant root mass and depth plants are able to make use of previously locked up soil nutrients resulting in extra growth and a reduction in future fertilser requirements.
- Increased worm populations. - Aerated soils lead to a 70 to 90% increase in worm populations resulting in faster breakdown of organic matter and animal dung to produce a healthier soil and plant life.
- Increase in air porosity around the plant root structure - Ruakura research has shown that there is a 10% increase in pasture production for every 1% increase in air filled porosity above a critical air filled porosity level of 10%
- Increases spring pasture boost - Due to better drainage spring soils are dryer and therefore warmer which promotes a better spring growth response.
To see the beneficial effects of soil being aerated one only needs to take note of the extra lush green growth seen where a drain of cable trench has been previously dug and then filled. This process aerates the soil and allows the new grass to expand its root structure and make use of the already available locked up soil nutrients.
This same effect can be obtained by use of a Winton Aerator to produce up to a 20% increase in pasture production in aerated soils. For sales contact Winton Engineering Ph 0800 WINTON (0800 946866)