Land imprinters use a heavy drum with wedges to imprint small depressions into the soil to reduce runoff and erosion, increase infiltration, and crush small shrubs. Land imprinters are similar to roller choppers. They can be fabricated in widths from 6 to 10 feet, with drum diameters ranging from 24 to 36 inches. Land imprinters are pulled by a crawler or rubber-tired tractor.
Land imprinters are used for seedbed preparation. The heavy drums firm soil while the wedges form depressions that trap rainfall and seed. They were developed for use in the desert Southwest but have been used elsewhere. A seeder can be attached to the front or rear frame. Land imprinters operate satisfactorily on rough terrain with small shrubs, but they are not suitable for dense stands of brush. They are not effective in moist, sticky soil. A current use is for seeding highway rights-of-way.
References / Additional Information
Stevens, R.; Monsen, S.B. 2004. Chapter 9. Mechanical plant control. In: Monsen, S.B.; Stevens, R.; Shaw, N.L., comps. Restoring western ranges and wildlands, vol. 1. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-136-vol-1. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 65-88.
Dixon, R.M.; Carr, A.B. 1999. Land imprinting for restoring revegetation in the desert Southwest. In: Tallman, B.; Finch, D.M.; Edminster, C.; Hamre, R., eds. 1998. The future of arid grasslands: identifying issues, seeking solutions. 1996 Oct. 9-13; Tucson, AZ. Proceedings RMRS-P-3. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 325-328.