Biodrilling by Cover Crops

Reducing soil compaction without steel

Soil compaction is an incredibly common problem on farms and many farmers are interested in addressing soil compaction without steel. A few cover crops with very strong taproots can help alleviate soil compaction.

This slideshow by professor Ray Weil introduces the concept of soil compaction and how certain plants’ roots can penetrate compacted soil layers (click on forward button to advance slide show and lower righthand corner for bigger version of slides).

For more on biodrilling:

Williams, S.M., and R.R. Weil. 2004. Crop Cover Root Channels May Alleviate Soil Compaction Effects on Soybean Crop. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 68:1403-1409.

Chen, G., and R.R. Weil. 2010. Penetration of cover crop roots through compacted soils. Plant and Soil 10.1007/s11104-009-0223-7.

Related Blog post with more pictures:

Biodrilling: how cover crops can help your ailing soil (Sept. 11, 2014)

Explore more on the cover crop web of functionality