Eliminate Soil Compaction Using A 3-Shank Ripper

You can eliminate soil compaction, which can be caused by a variety of practices around many kinds of properties. Large farm equipment can cause soil to compact in fields and reduce yields. Consistent traffic over a single path can create hardpan, which can cause standing water. Herds of livestock traveling back and forth from a feeding location can do the same. But it’s a problem that can be tackled with your tractor and a shank ripper.

Hay and cattle.

Today, we’re at a hay and cattle operation in southeast Kansas. The operator installed an electric fence so he could rotate his cattle off of the pasture east of the feedlot, allowing the grass to recover.

Since then, about 200 head have consistently been feeding at a group of feed bunks once a day for the last 120 days. And their movement in and out of that area has really compacted the soil.

Now it’s time to rotate them back onto the recovered pasture to the east and eliminate soil compaction in the feeding area so moisture will penetrate, and the grass will re-grow.

For this project, we’re using a Frontier 3-Shank Ripper (US CA) that will penetrate this compacted soil up to 18 inches (45.7 cm) deep. That calls for a tractor with some power and some weight.

So we’re using a John Deere 5125R Utility Tractor (US CA) that has 125 engine horsepower (93.2 kW). We’ve also added a 540R Loader (US CA) and a 79” (2 m) material bucket.

Nothing subtle about this project.

To eliminate soil compaction, we’re dragging heavy duty, heat treated steel shanks through this hard, compacted soil. And who knows what might be underneath.

So each shank has a shear bolt in case Jermayne hits a big underground obstacle. In that case, the shear bolt is designed to break, allowing that shank to rotate back and up using the other anchoring bolt as a hinge. That way, it prevents further damage to the implement, or to the tractor.

If that happens, all you have to do is rotate the shank back into position, replace the shear bolt, and you’re back in business.

Frontier has nearly 600 implements that are available only from your John Deere dealer, the place to go for advice and equipment.

So remember, for implements that help turn your tractor into the workhorse it was built to be, think Frontier and your John Deere dealer.

And lastly, always read the Operator’s Manual before operating any piece of equipment and follow all operating and safety instructions.


Helpful Links:

John Deere Tractors (US CA)

How To Get More Production From Pasture Edges

Why Vertical Tillage Might Be Right For You

How To Renovate A Pasture

How To Control Water Drainage In A Small Feed Lot

How To Use A Subsoiler To Eliminate Standing Water

Find Your Dealer (US CA)