Precision subsoiling of fields to improve soil physical conditions, plant growth and economic return
Term: Five years, beginning in 2015
Funding amount: $63,250
Lead researcher(s): Dr. Jeff Schoenau, University of Saskatchewan (U of S)
Funding partners: Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF), Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture (SMA) - Agriculture Development Fund (ADF)
The practices of deep tillage operations like sub-soiling can be expensive and complicated, as it requires specialized equipment involving significant horsepower and fuel requirements along with potential soil disturbance. However, it can also offer producers many benefits, including creating a more favourable environment for root growth and water infiltration. And with recent developments in farm field GPS and mapping technology, it is now possible to do precision applications of subsoiling only to specific areas of the field that are expected to respond well.
This research aims to address questions around the effectiveness of tillage to address soil compaction and other physical limitations that may be present in Saskatchewan soils, especially under the wet conditions experienced in recent years.
The results of this research will benefit Saskatchewan agriculture by providing producers with new information as to the feasability, suitability and potential economic returns from applying precision sub-soiling tillage on their farms.