Pasture renovation

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Hogfarmer10

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I know it's a very sensitive topic. I've got some clay based pastures that have been pastured for at least 60 years. I'd like to bust up any hard pan this fall. I've looked at a hay king renovator. I'm wondering, I already have a 5 shank v-ripper (basically a 5 shank subsoiler). Could I just remove #2 and #4 rippers to make it 3 shanks. I don't think it'd pull hunks/clods up with the shanks that far apart, but I'd probably pull a drag behind it anyway. Will this idea work or am I wasting my time?
 
I don't think you are wasting your time.
I can tell the difference in sandy loam soil.
I'm fixing to finally get my first cut and will start renovating this weekend.
I pull 5 shanks.
 
@kenny thomas sewed some Daikon Radishes to renovate a pasture. I don't remember how the soil turned out.
It done very good and made some excelent grazing. But planted in the fall around Labor day.
But if its hardpan i like your idea of busting it up some. I sowed some of the radish on a logging deck that was compacted and it didnt do much at all. But it was very poor soil from a previous coal surface mine.
 
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It would depend on the type of ripper. If it's one of the old Big Ox type rippers it will probably probably tear it up more than you would like. If it's a minimum till in-line type you can probably get away with it.

Soil conditions are everything when ripping. Don't go to wet or it won't shatter the hard pan very well. Too dry isn't ideal either as it's more prone to chunking up.
 
It done very good and made some excelent grazing. But planted in the fall around Labor day.
But if its hardpan i like your idea of busting it up some. I sowed some of the radish on a logging deck that was compacted and it didnt do much at all. But it was very poor soil from a previous coal surface mine.
How did you seed the radish? Or rather -- would overseeding work? I can't get into the area with any equipment I currently have.
 
First the area didnt have heavy cover on it. I have a 12ft spiked chain drag i pulled over it , seeded the radish and then pullled the chain drag over it again to get ground cover touching the seed.
 
I've come to the conclusion that the ability of the daikon radish to break up compacted soils has been HUGELY exaggerated by seed dealers. The ones I planted only grew about 6" deep at most, but another 4" grew above the soil. And they don't winter like turnips I've grown in the past. About Christmas they've rotted to the point you can barely stand to be down wind of them. Smells like a sewage treatment facility.
 
I've come to the conclusion that the ability of the daikon radish to break up compacted soils has been HUGELY exaggerated by seed dealers. The ones I planted only grew about 6" deep at most, but another 4" grew above the soil. And they don't winter like turnips I've grown in the past. About Christmas they've rotted to the point you can barely stand to be down wind of them. Smells like a sewage treatment facility.
Mine done pretty much the same but the 6" it broke up sure has good grass on it now. I probably didn't have over 2 acres total but strip grazed a bunch of cows on it for a week or more. I have an area that i will try again this fall..
 
I've come to the conclusion that the ability of the daikon radish to break up compacted soils has been HUGELY exaggerated by seed dealers. The ones I planted only grew about 6" deep at most, but another 4" grew above the soil. And they don't winter like turnips I've grown in the past. About Christmas they've rotted to the point you can barely stand to be down wind of them. Smells like a sewage treatment facility.
A farmer a couple counties over has been heavy cover cropping for 20+ years. He's taken soil profile samples periodically of places with hard pan. It's a fairly slow process, but deep rooted covers like annual and cereal rye and tillage radish have gradually driven the pan down, maybe 12-18" over this time span, and the pan is more fragmented. Very interesting results.

Those rotting radishes are foul, that's for sure.
 
It would depend on the type of ripper. If it's one of the old Big Ox type rippers it will probably probably tear it up more than you would like. If it's a minimum till in-line type you can probably get away with it.

Soil conditions are everything when ripping. Don't go to wet or it won't shatter the hard pan very well. Too dry isn't ideal either as it's more prone to chunking up.
Mine is similar to the big ox style, just John Deere's version. Mine is actually a 7 shank ripper, but we had to remove the outside 2 rippers because we haven't got enough horse out front. Do you still think it would pull up big chunks if I was to move the rippers to #1, #4(center), and #7? This would have almost 5' between the rippers.
 
Mine is similar to the big ox style, just John Deere's version. Mine is actually a 7 shank ripper, but we had to remove the outside 2 rippers because we haven't got enough horse out front. Do you still think it would pull up big chunks if I was to move the rippers to #1, #4(center), and #7? This would have almost 5' between the rippers.
I'm guessing if you drive slow with the shanks removed you may get by with it. It's worth a try, the most you'd have in its a little time in pulling the shanks. Won't take long to tell if it works well or not.
 
Hogfarmer, I am thinking about doing the same as you, but pulling an aerator over it before and after seeding. I hope that this will smooth it out a little.
 
Yoeman's Keyline Plow the recommendation is spacings point to point of 20" to 32" for pasture work. I have a 5 tine plow that I think the spacing is the 20" and it lifts the soil and puts it down with minimal disturbance. I pull it with a 84 hp tractor but my old heavy Chamberlain 2wd 70hp tractor does it easier but that was when they were measuring hp in Clydsdales not Shetland ponies like today.

Ken
 

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