Drought and Tillage - 2012

Dennis Berglund  |   October 17, 2012

Soil moisture levels are low! 


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



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



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

The author does not guarantee the accuracy of the information contained in this feature, although it is believed to be accurate. The author assumes no liability or responsibility for direct or indirect, special, consequential or incidental damages or for any other damages relating or arising out of any action taken as a result of information or advice contained in this report. The author disclaims any express or implied liability or responsibility for any action taken, which is solely at the liability of and responsibility of the user.

This content may not be redistributed without the consent of Vance Media Corporation.
© 2014, Vance Media Corporation

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