Breaking cultivation layer

Retraceh

Member
BASE UK Member
I have experienced a cultivation layer when from moving from a Mzuri to a Dale this year. When digging down I have found what looks like a pan which the water has not been able to get through, therefore the top few inches have been sitting wet. Has anybody else experienced this and what have they done to remedy it?
I was thinking of inter row companion crops with all crops next year including cereals to help get roots into the soil profile and help break this layer up as quick as possible.
 

stroller

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Somerset UK
Yes, got some big patches where nothing is growing, top 3" or so is sloppy mud, underneath is quite dry. My problem is a 3m amazone primera drill with 560x 22.5 wheels at the rear, so over 1/3 of the area is pounded down after the coulters. If the soils dry its OK but slightly damp it creates a compacted layer. Autumn 19 made a right mess, some places nothing g grew in the wheel marks, I've either got to only dd in the dry or get a different drill, I also do a muck for straw swap which cause a bit of compaction.
 

DanM

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Wiltshire
Am I right in thinking roots in grazed Perm pasture are not the roots required, as its seems to flood too easily.
Depends how your managing your permanent pasture? Set-stocked, closely cropped grass won’t have very deep roots. Combine that with heavy silage machinery and you won’t be much better off than over worked tilled soil!
 

Lincsman

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
Depends how your managing your permanent pasture? Set-stocked, closely cropped grass won’t have very deep roots. Combine that with heavy silage machinery and you won’t be much better off than over worked tilled soil!
No tractor has been in the field for 40 years since Basic slag was stopped... maybe a little on patches of thistles topping and its extensive grazed... no Fert.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
if you have a pan, it needs sorting, plenty of equipment out there to cure it, really it's why do you have the pan, and try to avoid getting it again.
 

Badshot

Member
Location
Kent
Is it that wrong to low disturbance subsoil the affected areas?
Saying roots will do it is a medium term solution surely, not a 'now' solution. The OP has got to pay the bills.
Trouble is you just set yourself up.the have to do more remedial work after harvest as the combine and trailers will make more compaction.
It really is a case of harvest.
Plant the most vigorous growing thing you can find.
Then carry on again...
 

Lincsman

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
Depends how you manage the grassland. Most grass is managed too short so the roots never get too deep and hence poor drainage.
Its just lightly grazed really, no fert, some parts have never seen the plough as the gullys from old water-ways , pre-ditches are still there, it is clay though but the general view is it make no difference.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
Depends how you manage the grassland. Most grass is managed too short so the roots never get too deep and hence poor drainage.
we cannot winter cattle on grass here, son wanted to try, he is now a believer. The worst is surface pans, working ground for reseed, we stop well before a nice seed bed, by the time it's drilled, it's perfect, always roll in with ring rollers.
Son learn't, solid pan at 3/4 inches, in his 'trial' field. We can get away with sheep though, just weight per hoof. Then we can get a 'proper' plough pan, 8/10 ins deep. You have to work with your soil, not what you think it needs, a spade is a very good tool here. The other side, we have a really good farm, good deep soils, very prone to dry out, and in a bit of a rain shadow, this year, weeds and forage rape took 8 weeks to emerge, in big patches ! But if given a good season, it will produce huge crops, after 3 very dry summers, beginning to doubt that !
 

EddieB

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Staffs
I am fairly new to DD and have found areas of compaction showing up, some areas could certainly be described as a pan. My thoughts are to run a low disturbance subsoiler through as needed plus utilising more cover crops / spring cropping and to widen the rotation. I will see how it goes but last year certainly highlighted the problem.
 

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