Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
Soil conservation using a magoye ripper
Recognize the problem
turning of top soil under conventional farming has made the soil loose and therefore prone to
erosion by wind and water. Soil erosion washes away the nutrients from the organic manure and fertilizer in the
soil. This causes a plough pan that hinders plant growth, and the loss of moisture that would have been used by the plant. The plants growing on fields that have eroded are yellow, have
stunted growth and in severe cases can produce little or no yield at all.
using a tillage tool called magoye ripper (kapandula in Tonga
language), you only open up planting furrows leaving the soil of the other
part of the field undisturbed. This means the soil is not at risk of wind and
water erosion, due to the cover provided by the layer of mulch of vegetation
on undisturbed ground. This tillage system enables a farmer to plant early,
before the onset of the rain, and has a good plant stand leading to better
yield. These furrows improve water infiltration and harvest water that will
be made available to the plant.
For correct ripping on an
already marked field, a trek chain of 3.5 m, a pair of oxen, a ripper, a
plough beam, a 180 cm yoke and 3 people are required to maintain 90 cm inter
row spacing for example for maize.
- Chains with hooks make an
easy attachment from the hitch point of the implement to the yoke. The oxen
are yoked. Fit the magoye ripper on the plough beam and always use a hitch.
- Calibrate the ripper by
making furrows outside the main field and achieving a depth of 15 cm.
- In the main field, a
straight row is made by positioning the animals with the help of the person
controlling them, while the other person handles the ripper
- Start ripping in May and June
for winter ripping when the soil is not yet dry and hard
- Ripping is only done to
open furrows where you are going to plant and apply fertilizers and manure
- It is very important
to always work with a sharp tine. An unsharpened ripper cannot penetrate and break up
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