How To Get More Production From Pasture Edges

Who would say no to an easy way to get more production from pasture edges? Plenty of pastures and fields all over the world are surrounded by trees. And they all send roots out that will eventually rob moisture from what you’re really trying to grow. That’s a problem. And the perfect solution is to use a shank ripper.

Equipment we’ll use.

We’ll be using a Frontier 2-Shank Ripper (US CA) to cut the roots reaching out from this tree line, to keep them from robbing moisture from the pasture and reducing the production from pasture edges. We’ll also be using a John Deere 5125R Utility Tractor (US CA) that has 125 engine horsepower (93.2 kW), along with a 540R Loader (US CA) and a 79” materials bucket.

It’s early spring, and we’ll be working along the edge of a hay and cattle pasture in southeast Kansas. This is an area with relatively thin topsoil and fairly low annual rainfall. So we’ll be pruning the tree roots nearest the surface, which are most likely to rob the grass of valuable moisture.

A straightforward task.

This 2-Shank Ripper is a pretty simple tool that does exactly what its name implies. As the tractor moves forward, the heat-treated points on the shanks help pull them down into the ground. The steel shanks will penetrate the soil up to 18 inches (45.72 cm) deep and rip apart any small tree roots they encounter.

The idea is to get as close to the fence line as possible without having to dodge any low-hanging tree branches that could damage the tractor, or cab.

As you’ll see in the video, this shank ripper does a great job of tearing through soil, ripping lots of small tree roots that were sucking moisture away from the pasture.

When trouble strikes.

Sometimes, a shank will come up against a rock or root that is too big to handle. In that case, the shear bolt on each shank on this 2-Shank Ripper is designed to shear or break, allowing that shank to rotate back and up using the other anchoring bolt as a hinge in order to prevent further damage to the implement, or from damaging the tractor.

But don’t worry. You’re not out of business so easily. All you have to do is rotate the shank back into position, replace the shear bolt, and you’re ready to get back to work.

Frontier has more than 400 implements and attachments 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)

Eliminate Soil Compaction Using A 3-Shank Ripper

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)