Soil moisture levels are low! 

 

Here are some tips to consider this fall and spring….

 

Tillage:

1)      There are few yield-related reasons for doing fall tillage

a)      The drought has already cracked and loosened many of our soils

2)      Conserve moisture this fall

a)      Keep tillage shallow

b)      Leaving large ridges could cause dry zones when they are leveled off

3)      In the spring, do the minimum tillage required to create an adequate seedbed

a)      Keep tillage shallow

b)      Consider vertical tillage

c)      Use a packer/roller to firm the seedbed

 

Fertility:

1)      Soil sample this fall!

2)      Wait to apply nitrogen until the soil cools off

  1. Make sure the soil “seals up” to minimize N loss

3)      Incorporate your P and K

4)      Apply just part of the nitrogen before planting and then wait to see if the crop will justify additional N

 

Crop considerations:

1)      Sugarbeets need a good seed bed and minimal residue

2)      Soybeans can tolerate heavy residue

3)      Corn on corn involves more residue and additional nitrogen

4)      Use row cleaners, but don’t go too deep

5)      Consider a starter fertilizer, but be careful as dry soil increases the chance of injury

6)      Select hybrids with good drought tolerance

7)      Let the soils warm up before planting