Deep ripping no water repellent guarantee

GRAIN growers who have taken advantage of summer rainfall and deep ripped paddocks have been warned the method does not necessarily overcome soil water repellence.

DAFWA research officer Dr Steve Davies measures the soil moisture content.

DAFWA research officer Dr Steve Davies measures the soil moisture content.

Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA) research officer Steve Davies said while deep ripping was an effective way to reduce soil compaction, it did not guarantee improved soil water penetration.

Dr Davies said in some cases, deep ripping could exacerbate topsoil water repellence.

“Deep ripping does not alter the soil surface condition, only the subsoil condition. Dry-sown crops can sometimes have worse establishment on strongly water repellent soils that have been deep ripped, with poorer water infiltration when the dry topsoil has been loosened.”