Non Inversion Tillage breaks up hard pans and increases the available soil depth by vertically slicing thinly through the pan whilst lifting and then lowering the soil.
This lifting and lowering potentially causes shattering to the soil on each side of the slot resulting in lots of cracks.
These cracks allow moisture into the soil, roots and gases to penetrate, which opens up deeper layers and eliminates / reduces the hard pans.
Potential benefits of non inversion tillage
Tillage through Non inversion when completed correctly, i.e. at the right time and under the right conditions for that soil can deliver many benefits including
- Improved growth of plants in particular for deep rooted plants and other tap-rooted
- Increased aeration of the soil
- When it rains or when irrigation is utilised gain better infiltration
- Improved deeper rooting and root penetration leading to
- Improved resistance to drought
- Where soil moisture is a limiting factor gain longer growing seasons
- If you are growing across a slope or across the prevailing wind direction the slots can trap soil, organic matter and nutrients
Non inversion is most commonly completed
As part of process when opening up new ground
- Making planting easier
- Easier root penetration
- Greater water infiltration
- A herbicidal effect on the outer riplines keeps competition down.
There will be severe problems the closer a hard pan is to the surface and the harder the pan is. The more severe the problems, the more likely that NIT will give benefits, particularly in relation to the immediate year’s yields. NIT will typically only be useful if the soil has a hard pan or is hard below the current root depth. It is critical that the tillage passes through this layer. If the hard pan is too deep for the implement, any potential benefits may be lost.