Deep ripping dry compact sand in two bites

CC BY 4.0

Research organisatons

Trial details

Researcher(s) Paul Blackwell (DAFWA)
Glen Reithmuller (DAFWA)
Phil Ward (DAFWA)
Year(s) 2014
Contributor Liebe Group
Trial location(s) east Buntine, WA
Deep ripping dry compact sand in two bites locations

To demonstrate more efficient deep ripping of a dry compact sandy soil and to assess any benefits of improved rain infiltration and crop yield.

Key messages
  • Deep ripping dry sand was more effective with two passes (or shallow leading tines); less cloddy.
  • Yield benefits of 410 kg/ha (18%) from deep ripping were mainly due to better head fill. Better head fill was probably due to better cooling of the crop in hot weather due to better supply of moisture.
  • Extra moisture seemed to be from rain which infiltrated deeper in the ripped soil to avoid more evaporative loss than the unripped soil.
  • A controlled traffic system will better protect the investment in deep ripping and extend the benefits. Deep ripping costs will also be reduced when the permanent tramlines are left unripped; seeding can also be easier with better flotation on permanent tramlines.


Lead research organisation Department of Agriculture and Food WA
Host research organisation N/A
Related program N/A

Ross and Shaun Fitzsimons for setting up the ripper, doing the ripping and recording the tractor performance, as well as the Liebe Group, for helping choose the site. The funding for this work comes from the new DAFWA project DAW00234 “Minimising the effect of soil compaction on crop yield” funded by GRDC.

Other trial partners Not specified
Download the trial report to view additional trial information


Crop type Wheat
Treatment type(s)
  • Soil amelioration: Application
Trial type Experimental
Trial design Replicated

east Buntine 2014

Sow rate or Target density 50 kg/ha Calingiri
Sowing machinery

farm Morris airseeder

Sow date 3 May 2014 03 May 2014
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size 3m x 40m
Plot replication 4

03/05/2014: 30 kg/ha DAPSCZ, 5.3 L/ha CalSap®, 1% Sulphate of Ammonia

05/06/2014: 40 L/ha UAN

09/07/2014: 30 L/ha UAN


03/05/2014: 1.8 L/ha Trifluralin, 1.5 L/ha Gramoxone, 275 g/ha Diuron, 0.3% LI 700

05/06/2014: 350 mL/ha Paragon, 50 mL/ha Alpha-cypermethrin, 30 g/ha Lontrel, 4 g/ha Metsulfuron

Soil amelioration

24/04/2014: Deep ripped in dry conditions using a Yeomans farm ripper (centre section) with towed rubber tyred roller; subsoil moisture content 5-7% v/v. The Case Steiger 435 HD used 40-45 L/h of fuel (41-46% engine power and 5-7% slip at 4.5kph) when ripping to 350-400mm in one pass. For the 2 bite system the tractor used 42-45 L/h of fuel (42-45% engine power and 4-5% slip at 4.5 kph) in a second pass to 400-450mm after a first pass using 28-30 L/h (30-38% power and 2-3% slip at 4.5 kph) ripping to 250-275 mm depth. 5 tines at 500mm spacing were used in all cases. No shear pins failed when ripping the plots. The front rank of tines was set at about 40mm shallower than the rear tines to reduce draft on the leading tines in all runs.

Download the trial report to view additional method/treatment information

Download results

Trial results Table 1

# Variety
Grain yield (t/ha) Biomass (t/ha) Screenings (%) 1000 grain weight (g)
1 Unripped 2.27 4.95 0.5 41.42
2 One Rip 2.69 5.59 0.79 42.83
3 Two Rips 2.67 5.51 0.45 42.79
4 LSD (95%) 0.34 0.64 0.29 2.028

Grain yield t/ha


1000 grain weight g


Biomass t/ha


Screenings %

Observed trial site soil information
Trial site soil testing
Site Depth Type pH EC P K N A OC CAT
east Buntine, WA 0 - 10cm 4.50 0.12
east Buntine, WA 10 - 20cm 4.10
east Buntine, WA 20 - 40cm 4.70
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
east Buntine, WA Sand over gravel
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
east Buntine, WA Sodosol
Soil Moisture Source: BOM/ANU
Average amount of water stored in the soil profile during the year, estimated by the OzWALD model-data fusion system.
Year east Buntine WA
2014 224.6mm
2013 261.5mm
2012 260.7mm
2011 255.6mm
2010 215.0mm
2009 231.0mm
2008 264.8mm
2007 200.7mm
2006 237.9mm
2005 224.2mm
2004 227.9mm
2003 247.7mm
2002 205.1mm
2001 214.0mm
2000 279.2mm
National soil grid Source: CSIRO/TERN
NOTE: National Soil Grid data is aggregated information for background information on the wider area
Actual soil values can vary significantly in a small area and the trial soil tests are the most relevant data where available

Soil properties



east Buntine WA 2014

Observed climate information

Rainfall avg gsr (mm) 180mm

Derived climate information

east Buntine WA

NOTE: Exact trial site locality unknown - Climate data may not be accurate

Some data on this site is sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology

SILO weather estimates sourced from
Jeffrey, S.J., Carter, J.O., Moodie, K.B. and Beswick, A.R. (2001). Using spatial interpolation to construct a comprehensive archive of Australian climate data , Environmental Modelling and Software, Vol 16/4, pp 309-330. DOI: 10.1016/S1364-8152(01)00008-1.

Trial last modified: 11-12-2019 09:42am AEST