Compaction of tobacco fields caused by overworking or working soils when they are too wet has become a topic of concern to burley producers in recent years. Despite the viewpoint of some producers that annual subsoiling of tobacco fields is a profitable practice, particularly on soils which percolate water slowly, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture recommends subsoiling only for a defined compaction problem. In such cases, some field studies have shown increased yields of burley to tillage practices that penetrate and shatter the compacted layer. Questions persist, however, about the effectiveness of single shank subsoilers used annually by some burley growers. Most of the concern about their effectiveness relates to the fact that, even if the soil is compacted, their use rarely results in shattering of compacted layers between row centers on which the subsoiler is used. This results in setter rows that are not likely to be centered over subsoiler slits, thereby minimizing the tool's effectiveness. Because of the increased concern about compaction, and because one-row subsoilers are fairly commonly used tools, we conducted an on-farm field study during 1994 to test their effectiveness in producing burley tobacco.

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