A fantastic crowd of 200 people attended the Deep Ripping Field Day run in collaboration between AGRIvision Consultants and Mallee Sustainable Farming, Tuesday 12th of March at Ouyen.
Not since the early days of no-till has a field day drawn such interest in soil management practices looking to achieve yield gains on Mallee sandy soils.
Field Day Coordinator, Brad Bennett from AGRIvision Consultants based in Ouyen said he was ecstatic with the response. “We initially thought we would run a day for a group of 30-40 clients but once we started planning the day we found interest was so high that we should open it up to the general public”.
Attendees travelled from SA, NSW and Victoria, some up to 6 hours, to attend the day with varying levels of deep ripping experience amongst attendees. Some farmers had tried deep ripping in the past but many more were looking to get into it for the first time.
An evaluation conducted by Mallee Sustainable Farming on the day uncovered 28% intend ripping 10-20% of the farm in the next 5 years, and 20% intend to rip more than 20% of the farm in the next 5 years.
“It is possible to achieve good yield responses from deep ripping sandy soils but before farmers consider ripping it’s important they understand their soil constraints and where the constraint is in the profile”, says Brad. “This will help determine the best approach to fixing the problem”.
The day brought together researchers, farmers, machinery manufacturers and consultants and covered a range of issues from learning how to identify a responsive compacted soil, to tyne design and machinery set up for ripping.
Researchers also presented the latest in GRDC funded sandy soils research including a presentation from deep ripping expert Wayne Parker, Research Officer from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development in WA.
A highlight of the day was the ripping demonstration held in the paddock, with 5 different ripping machines put to the test. Field day attendees could observe these machines working with a side by side comparison of the end result.
Brad adds, “Farmers are eager, but there is a lack of knowledge around the technical elements of successfully implementing ripping on farm, such as optimum depth, tyne spacing, tyne design and machinery requirements and hopefully this day has helped answer some of those questions”.
Mallee Sustainable Farming through the GRDC Sandy Soils Project will be working with a number of farmers to monitor and measure the outcomes of deep ripping trials in 2019. “We will be working closely with farmers to identify the critical success factors, work though issues that may arise over the next two years of the project and develop useful information we can share with the wider farming community”, adds MSF Program Manager Tanja Morgan.
Media Release ripping day 14.3.19