Stay patient on tillage, planting

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Farmers who are antsy to get into their fields to complete tillage operations and plant corn should do their best to stay patient, two Purdue Extension agronomists say.

Brutally cold, snowy winter months throughout Indiana have given way to a cold, wet spring. Farmers who try to till wet fields or plant corn into mud risk a host of soil problems, including root-restricting compaction, which can have lasting effects on crop yields.

“We had a winter with enough freeze and thaw cycles to loosen the soils, but heavy rains have re-compacted it, meaning many farmers will feel the need to do some tillage this spring,” said Tony Vyn, who specializes in tillage. “My worry is that farmers concerned about the calendar might get out when it’s too wet. It’s exceptionally wet right now. Exercise patience in doing that first tillage pass.”

Some farmers completed fall tillage operations intending to do stale-seedbed planting in spring, but according to Vyn those fields might still need some attention this spring – especially fields that were strip-tilled in the fall.

“There isn’t a great strip-till persist from fall, so while those fields looked good then, the loosened berms now might look flat. In that case, a grower might need to do a second, but shallower, spring pass,” Vyn said.

Ponding from winter snow melt and heavy rainfall also has left behind some areas of crop residue that planters won’t be able to cut through without some tillage to break up the mat.

Vyn suggested looking at ponded areas on a case basis to decide what type of tillage is right for each situation.

“Minimum tillage is the word of the day, and it’s important to delay it as much as possible to give soils a chance to dry out,” he said.

Vyn suggested that farmers consider using some form of electronic or GPS guidance in their tractors to keep more precise traffic patterns in the field. Using the same traffic lanes can help farmers preserve seedbed soil quality.

Purdue Extension corn specialist Bob Nielsen said it’s important that farmers remember that planting date isn’t the only factor that determines crop yields.

“Planting date isn’t the only predictor of yield,” he said. “Growers can create a lot of compaction by planting too early. The worst-case scenario is mudding in a crop and creating both sidewall and surface compaction, which restricts root development, then having dry weather later in the season.”


Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left


Smooth Wall Grain Bins

Meridian’s SmoothWall bins are the ultimate storage bins, used to handle and store fertilizer, grain, feed and seed, and extend ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form