Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Soils in the Environment
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: March 5, 2004
Publication Date: October 27, 2004
Citation: Raper, R.L. 2004. Subsoiling. In: Hillel, D. Encyclopedia of Soils in the Environment. Oxford, United Kingdom: Elsevier Ltd. p. 69-76 Interpretive Summary: Subsoiling is a necessary tillage process for many fields used for agricultural production. Subsoiling disturbs the soil down to at least 14 inches and provides for increased rooting in soils compacted by either natural causes or by vehicle traffic. This chapter reports on the current knowledge base of subsoiling and includes information that producers can use to determine if their soils might benefit from this tillage process.
Technical Abstract: Soil compaction can either be naturally occurring or traffic-induced and has been found to limit yields of many fields in the U.S. Managing compaction occasionally requires deep tillage. This deep tillage is termed subsoiling. This chapter reports on the state of the art of knowledge of subsoiling and includes sections on Benefits of Subsoiling, Subsoiler Design, Force Required for Subsoiling, Subsoiling Considerations, Alternative Crops to Subsoil, and Considerations Before Subsoiling. It is hoped that bringing all of this information together will enable producers to make wise decisions about this necessary but expensive tillage process.