Soil is comprised of mineral or organic soil particles with spaces called “pore space”. This space contains varying amounts of air and water depending on soil type and conditions. The ratio of particle to pore space would ideally be 50:50 in natural un-compacted friable soils.
However for most soils the reality is very different. The demands of grazing and the regular use of machinery, often in wet and highly unfavourable conditions, is very destructive to soil structure and results in the condition described as compaction.
Compaction starts at the surface and builds progressively throughout the soil profile often to considerable depths preventing water penetration and the movement and up-take of all essential elements. As the soil particles pack closer and closer together pore space is eliminated and the soil is devoid of air and water, thus denying grass plants the “essentials of life”.
An appropriate aeration program can increase worm population and activity, and transform shallow rooting to deep rooting. This in turn will increase pasture growth. The overall soil structure will be more free draining which will improve plant production in the wet and the increased root depth will improve grass production in dry conditions. Independent tests have shown an average dry matter increase of over 20% in a fifteen month period.