Today we’re talking about a subsoiler and its uses. For breaking compacted subsoil, a subsoiler shank is the tool of choice. The power requirement for a subsoiler is high, so only the larger compact tractors will be able to handle a subsoiler, and even they will be limited to one shank if the subsoiler is run at normal depth. Subsoilers are typically run from 12-20 inches deep. The purpose of a subsoiler is to break up a compacted hardpan in the subsoil. To shatter a hardpan effectively, you must work with reasonably dry soil. If a subsoiler is run in wet soil, the soil will just flow around the subsoiler. Straight shank subsoilers are most common for compact tractor use since they are the least expensive, but curved (parabolic) subsoiler shanks require less power for a given depth. Most subsoilers have some type of “foot” at the bottom to aid in shattering the soil. The most effective type depends on soil conditions. If subsoiling a field intended for row crops, it is usually most effective to subsoil directly under the row location. This will provide an open path for crop roots to grow through the compacted hardpan.

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