There is no question that one of the great things about Australian Agriculture is the ever-changing landscape in which we exist! We have seen monumental leaps forward in how we go about producing food and fibre over the decades. Advances in technology and machinery have provided us the ability to grow more with the land available and in some instances, we have done this with minimal rainfall. Traditional methods of Tillage have changed dramatically with the advent of minimal or no till practices.
As time has marched on however, one of the newest questions revolves around “soil amelioration” and its place in modern practice! “Should I, or shouldn’t I” are generally the first questions asked, followed by what is the best method, machine, and place to start? Talk to most Agronomist or soil scientists and the simple answer is some form of amelioration is good!
In many areas sub soil compaction has increased in severity and depth, certainly in deeper sandplain soil types. We have seen “non wetting issues” or water repellence combined with the poor water and nutrient holding capacity.
Enter the Bednar Terraland TO! Designed and manufactured in the Czech Republic for the rich, ultra-high yielding European soils it is has now found its way to Australia to help us unlock and restore the potential that lays beneath many of our soil types.
Speaking with Matt Howell, Senior Agronomist, Platinum Ag, in Malinong recently and he said, “The Bednar has played two main roles in this area. Number one, it addresses non wetting, water repellent soils, allowing us to get a crop up and out of the ground with less rainfall. Highly water repellent soils take 50ml to100ml of rain to wet up properly, if at all! Now we’ve dealt with the non wetting sands we are seeing crop emergence with between 5ml and 10ml of rain. This is allowing us to sow earlier, with the confidence we will still get the crop up and established. Secondly, using the Bednar to open up our soil to depth, we allow a crop to finish at the other end of the season. Opening up the depth of soil gives us a bigger bucket to hold more water, we are able to get longer into the season without rainfall events”.
Matt goes onto say that “we’ve tried several different rippers over the years but the Bednar seems to have the best fit over the widest range of soil types that we’ve been able to apply it to. Because it is adaptable to different soil types its been able to lift clay from shallow sand over clay soils but at the same time it has been able to mix our top soil and get some top soil inclusion to depth and by doing that we’ve been able to change both the physical and chemical properties of the soil which allows the optimum crop growth”.
The deep ripping concept is not new, however, the reason the Bednar has had a rapid adoption here in South Australia is because its got such a wide use across varying soil types and it’s ability to deal with more than just one constraint”.
The Terraland TO, has a winning formula for current soil requirements across the country due to its ability to literally do more in one pass! In short, the Terraland TO has the ability to reduce hardpans across the paddock and oxygenate the sub-soil while bringing up previous lost nutrients from the depths. Through mixing and activating the soil and allowing microbial activity it has the benefit and ability to reduce waterlogging and with the following spikey rollers, packing the surface to reduce water loss.
There have been impressive results of the Terraland’s benefits in soils with non-wetting issues and repellence and its mixing action, combined with its ability to lift and mix critical clay particles through the profile. There is no question that having the ability to mix sand and clay evenly, will improve soil structure! Many practices now involve the spreading of lime and or manures however miss the critical step of rapid incorporation into the soil profile. Another capability of the Terralnd TO with its mixing action to depth, providing the ability to see near complete incorporation right through the critical growing profile!
When we caught up with Al Ifould from Magic Dirt Farming recently, he said “we’ve been adopting soil amelioration practices at our farm in Malinong, South Australia for about 25 years and we’ve been using the Bednar over three summers now. It’s been a great fit for a lot of our soil types and for us it’s been about getting much higher production out of what we already own.
We have seen some stand out results, growing beans where we never thought about growing beans as little as 5 years ago. We’ve been able to bring up our lower performing paddocks and turn them into our highest producing areas by busting up hard pans, bringing clay up and making perfect conditions for our crop types”
He also said “The Bednar has been a great machine because of its versatility, it’s not the only tool in the toolbox, but it is a very integral part of our operations and we’ll continue to use the Bednar over the years to extract more clay out of the subsoil to make our top soil even better!”
There are times when something’s are better off left where they are and the need maybe just to rip at depth to break up hardpans becomes paramount. With a simple change of point the Terraland TO can become just that, a Deep Ripper when it is the compaction your are wanting to deal with.
So, with all the advances in technology and practices have we now gone full circle and are turning back to mechanical intervention? The Bednar Terraland TO is certainly that machine. Providing mechanical intervention to assist with working what lies beneath the soil and getting it back to health that supports strong plant growth, moisture retention and increased yields! Most importantly, with the increasing cost of land and our need to grow more, the Terraland TO is a machine that provides you the opportunity to turn low yielding or non-producing areas into areas that can and do!
Ramsey Bros are your exclusive Bednar Terraland Dealer for SA and Victoria.
Call Tim Glover on 0429 180 992 for more information or to arrange a demonstration.