Make calculated decisions to combat soil compaction 

Managing soil compaction has never been better than with Piket Implements’ soil density device. The Piket™ Soil Penetrometer provides you with information on the level of compaction of your soil by attaching a number to the density thereof. It can also measure the downward pressure in your soil.  

Furthermore, Piket Implements’ mechanical penetrometer can provide information that indicates whether the microbes in your soil are happy and working to help your plants grow. 

How does Piket Implements’ device work?

Take the Piket™ Soil Penetrometer and grip the handles firmly. Place the sharp point on the ground and apply strong downward pressure. Pull the device out of the ground and measure up to the rubber marker on the device. Repeat the same action three times, but space your measurements about one step apart to ensure an accurate measurement. 

Usually, the measurement is taken at a farm’s fences or boundary fence, where there is little activity by implements or animals and where it can indicate the potential of your soil’s quality. As the device can sometimes accidentally enter a mole hole or hit a rock and thus give a false measurement, you should use the measurement that appears the same continuously in that area. 

The device’s objective is to help you to obtain a good depth with very soft topsoil, which is ideal for good root development and water absorption. If a poor measurement is obtained, you must take steps to improve the structure of your soil. This may involve letting fewer animals graze per hectare, loosening the soil slightly through deep tillage in certain areas, or planting crops to improve soil quality with live roots and water content. 

What is the purpose?

Piket Implements believes that every livestock or seed farmer can benefit from using the Piket™ Soil Penetrometer on their farm. It helps you to determine whether to better distribute the animals, plant a mulch, loosen soil or create new passages for the movement of tools or animals. The long-term vision for Piket Implements is to get as many farmers as possible to use the device to help improve the soil structure of their farms. 

Piket Implements also wants to collect as much data as possible from various farmers over a certain period of time to perform a study aimed at drawing connections and offering appropriate solutions for the improvement of soil compaction. The study could also be used to recommend an appropriate planter for specific soil density readings and for a certain soil structure. 

The Piket Implements No Till Fine Seed Planters work optimally in looser soil, but Piket Implements’ Hydraulic No Till Planter also works well in firmer soil. Nowadays, Piket Implements’ agents first take a soil density reading before recommending a suitable planter or the right planting depth for optimal seed germination. The measurement can also be used to recommend how deep the soil should be loosened by deep tillage to ensure the best root development. The Piket Implements team recommends making decisions based on facts instead of guesswork. 

What does it cost? 

The Piket™ Soil Penetrometer costs R1 500 per unit. Delivery charges are excluded. 

ENQUIRIES: Picket Implements office, Call – 022 913 2435; Website – www.penetrometer.co.za; Email – parte@piket.co.za.

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