The short part of this long story is about three things:
- the impact of compacted soil on crop productivity
- how to break up compacted soil (fragipan, hardpan) with annual ryegrass
- how annual ryegrass helps to increase yield of corn and soybeans
Twenty years ago, researchers working with farmers in Illinois found that annual ryegrass roots break up fragipan during winter months, when ryegrass roots permeate compaction and change its composition.
A short demonstration of the results of continuous use of annual ryegrass on compacted soil gradually eliminates compaction and allows cash crops much deeper soil, where added nutrients and moisture are found.