In order to ensure optimal conditions for the growth and development of valuable meadow plants, especially humidity-air relations in organic mead-ow soil characterised by low porosity, an own constructed plate aerator was applied after the harvest of each regrowth. As a result, it is possible to produce larger amounts of grass-based feeds for dairy cows, to improve the botanical composition and to increase the efficiency of fertilizer application. The aerator is built on a construction of a cultivator and it has a 3 meters working area. The working elements are cutting plates adapted from another machine and they are installed one next to another within 20 cm gaps. The plates are cutting the sod to a depth of 10-15 cm. The depth is regulated by adding some extra weight to the machine.
Reason for the innovation
The permanent grasslands of the farm are located on organic soils that are sensitive to compaction due to the use of agricultural machinery and its natural tendency for compactness. Aeration ensures the insertion of air to the sod layer, which has a positive effect on the vegetation of the valuable meadow plants. It causes also a better use of nutrients from fertilizers and prevents the sward from the degradation process. As a result, yields of meadow sward and their quality have increased. The organic type of meadow soils forces still some adjustment of the aerator in order to increase the efficiency of its work.
- Soil types: Sandy, Peat
- Climate: Warm-summer humid continental
- Altitude: 86 m a.s.l.
- Slope: 0%
- All of the grasslands are exclusively mowed.
- The sward is conserved by making haylage.
- Annual Work Unit: 3
- Agricultural Area: 120 ha UAA
- Main forage area: 95 ha
- Arable land area: 95 ha
- Permanent grassland area: 25 ha
- Temporary grassland area: 20 ha
- Other forage area (silage maize): 50 ha
- Average stocking rates:
- agriculture area 1.9 LU/ha
- main forage area 2.4 LU/ha
- grassland area 5.1 LU/ha
- Dairy cows: 160
- Total livestock units: 227.5 LU
- Milk production per head: 10800 (l/year)
Why it is working
The aerator inserts air into the sod layer, allows better use of nutrients from fertilizers, which increases the grassland productivity and maintains for a longer period of use stable botanical composition of the sward, especially after the renovation of the meadows.