• A Land Imprinter for Revegetation of Barren Land Areas Through Infiltration Control

      Dixon, R. M.; Simanton, J. R.; United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Western Region, Southwest Watershed Research Center, Tucson, Arizona 85705 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1977-04-16)
      A new minimum tillage implement, "the land imprinter," has been designed and fabricated, and is currently being tested. Its design is based on water infiltration control theory developed during the past decade. The land imprinter was developed primarily for establishing vegetation in barren land areas in semiarid and arid regions of the world. It simultaneously forms interconnected downslope and cross - slope corrugations that shed water and then infiltrate it precisely where vegetative growth is to be encouraged. This controlled short distance routing of water along short waterways into small reservoirs makes more rainwater available for seed germination and seedling establishment, and less water available for loss by surface runoff and evaporation. The imprinter has only one moving part, in the form of a massive compound roller and central axle which turn together as a rigid assembly during operation. The compound roller consists of two imprint capsules which are linked together on the axle shaft by an axle pulling clamp. The core of the imprint capsule is a hollow steel cylinder (1-m diameter and 1-m long) fabricated from 1.27-cm steel plate. A variety of imprint geometries are formed by welding short lengths of specially -cut steel angles (1.27 cm x 15.24 cm x 15.24 cm) to the outer surface of the cylindrical core. Ten imprint capsules with distinctly different geometric patterns of steel angles have been developed and fabricated. By pairing these capsules in as many ways as possible, 45 different geometric patterns can be imprinted. The patterns of steel angles perform a number of different tillage functions including (1) brush and soft rock crushing, (2) brush and rock imbedding, (3) runoff inducing and directing, (4) infiltration inducing and directing, (5) biomass concentrating, (6) seedbed forming, (7) surface and vertical mulching, (8) wind and water erosion controlling, (9) surface compacting, and (10) surface trenching and pitting. Advantages of the land imprinter as compared with alternative tillage methods include (1) greater stability, diversity, complexity, and precision of surface geometric patterns; (2) better control of point infiltration, runoff, erosion, and evaporation; and (3) greater utility in brush -covered, steeply - sloping, deeply gullied, and rocky land. The land imprinter should have widespread utility in both range and croplands because of its unique ability to mold runoff -watered seedbeds that increase the probability of seed germination and seedling establishment.