AN OSCILLATING SUBSOILER FOR LOOSENING COMPACTED SOILS IN ORCHARDS
Subsoiling is a deep tillage operation necessary for loosening compacted soils. Tillage efficiency and pulling requirements have been improved in the open field context. The orchard and vineyard context, with narrow row spacing, limited power availability and where root pruning occurs, requires specific actions. Research produced specific shank design and layout, and the development of power driven vibratory implements. Among these, a subsoiler with a horizontal oscillating bottom metal plate has been recently developed. Field test were conducted to evaluate this technology for its capability of improving soil loosening within orchard rows. The tests were carried out with the subsoiler mounted on a 110 kW tractor through the untilled rows of a fifteen-year-old grove. This paper reports the operative performance results such as power requirements, wheel slip, ground speed, and working depth. Work quality was established through clod size distribution, soil refinement index and the elevation in the ground. The results showed that the oscillating bottom plate moves a greater mass of soil compared to the same tool used without the plate. The resulting loosened area has a trapezium shaped cross-section, that remarkably widens from the drill horizon towards the surface.
Tomasone, R., Cedrola, C., Pagano, M., Colorio , G. and Pochi, D. (2011). AN OSCILLATING SUBSOILER FOR LOOSENING COMPACTED SOILS IN ORCHARDS. Acta Hortic. 919, 147-152
subsoiling, row crops, vibratory tools, energy requirements, work quality