University of Vermont

Vermont Pasture Network

Addressing Pasture Compaction
radishkeyline plow

Using Tillage Radish and Keyline Plowing to Address Pasture Compaction and Carbon Sequestration

A few years ago, some grass-based dairy farmers came to us with the question, “You know, what we really need is a way to fix the compaction in pastures.” 

This simple request has led us on a lively journey. We began by adapting methods to alleviate compaction in other climates and cropping systems. We worked with five Vermont dairy farmers to apply these practices to their pastures, where other farmers could come and observe them in action. We assessed the pros and cons of these approaches and we are sharing those results and observations here. There have been some unexpected results.

Though soil compaction was the driver of our project, soil quality and health are more than just compaction. Soil health is a keystone for field management, building a soil that will provide the optimal productivity for a crop, and a soil that can recover from disturbance and stress. Fostering the complex web of belowground interactions may rejuvenate compacted soil.

Join us for a tour of soil health, and biological and mechanical tools to address pasture compaction. Then decide for yourself what is the best fit for your farm.

Project news and updates:

Soil Compaction Resources

Last modified February 04 2016 03:53 PM