A comprehensive understanding of the cause and location of high soil strength is required before undertaking deep ripping as research has shown it is does not provide an economic solution in some soil types.
- Deep ripping of compacted soils is most likely to improve grain yields on sandy soils and where compaction has occurred on upper parts of the soil profile through machinery traffic or livestock trampling.
- Deep ripping is less effective on heavy clay soils unless combined with gypsum on sodic soils prone to waterlogging.
- Deep ripping will provide little benefit if other subsoil constraints such as salinity, sodicity or acidity are also present.
- Recent advances in machinery, such as ‘slotting’ and deep placement equipment to simultaneously introduce ameliorants at depth with ripping, could increase the financial and agronomic effectiveness of this approach to managing subsoil constraints.