Prototype cultivator helps slash soil erosion

In a bid to prevent torrents of water hurtling down compacted tramlines after heavy rainfall, Charles Creyke has designed a toolbar that ruffles up concrete-like tractor wheelings and creates clever channels for the water to escape into the soil.

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The Wheel Track Roller has angled tines that run to the side of the tractor’s compaction and create minimal surface disturbance but provide channels where the water can escape.

Following the tines are evenly spaced plastic rollers, which form angled elongated reservoirs in the soil in a heap and hollow fashion to break the flow of water, while fissuring the surrounding areas for liquid to percolate through.

Not only will this prevent soil erosion, but it will also allow valuable nutrients and water to stay in the soil where they are needed to help crops thrive, we’re told.

See also: Why soil health is top priority for Sussex estate

The machine can work in cereals and ridge bed crops such as potatoes and vegetables. A trial has been taking place on sandy soil in North Norfolk, while the Water Sensitive Farming Partnership has bought a Wheel Track Roller to raise awareness with East Anglia growers about how the machine can reduce soil erosion.