Many farms suffer from poor quality swards and limited yields even if they plough and re-seed regularly. Often this is caused by soil becoming compacted which limits water flow through the soil profile and reduces air interchange. Reasons for compaction can vary from gradual soil slump to the action of heavy machinery.
Over the years silaging and slurry spreading equipment has become larger and heavier causing deep compaction.
Furthermore shallow compactions can be caused by livestock poaching or simply the weight of animal on the soil.
With the ground waterlogged it can be too wet for spring operations such as slurry and muck spreading, harrowing, fertilising and overseeding. This means livestock cannot be put out to graze which in turn effects forage requirements and productivity.
This is where the OPICO Sward Lifter Grassland Subsoiler can help. The Sward Lifter with its rugged construction is specifically designed to break up hard pans and surface compaction while lifting and opening up the subsoil creating improved drainage.
The Sward Lifter’s unique design leads with a cutting disc at the front that opens up the turf allowing the subsoil leg to travel through the sward without soil bursting onto the surface. Each of the Grassland Subsoiler’s legs are fitted with shear-bolt or hydraulic reset to prevent damage. Spring loaded rollers are then employed at the rear of the unit to press closed the turf leaving a surface that is level and ready for use.
Before and After using the Grassland Subsoiler
The untreated area photo (below right) shows the top layer of the soil is water logged as a compacted layer is preventing the water from passing through, in the treated photo (below left) you can clearly see the water has been able to penetrate through the top layer and down through the soil profile, this will prevent water logging in the winter and allow oxygen into the grass root zone. As the grass is not put under water logging stress through the winter it is able to take advantage of warmer days to grow and starts growing earlier in the spring.