For most of the Corn Belt, 2019 has been a roller-coaster ride, and as harvest progresses, the next question is now what? The spring was challenging, but for many the issue began last fall when wetter than normal conditions were combined with a late harvest. Many growers were faced with harvesting in wet fields, which created a perfect situation for soil compaction and limited the ability to do any fall tillage. Fast forward to the spring of 2019 and again growers were faced with unusually wet conditions. This forced growers to push the limits again to get a crop planted. The question now becomes what can we do this fall to deal with the short comings of last fall and this spring’s issues?
The answer to this question is most likely going to be some sort of tillage pass this fall. For most, the main objective this fall will be breaking up compaction zones and leveling out equipment ruts and tracks from previous field activities. Each individual needs to evaluate what they are trying to accomplish with a fall tillage pass. A few things to think about when making the decision to perform a fall tillage pass include:
Once a grower has decided what they want to accomplish, there are numerous types of equipment available. Some of the more common fall tillage equipment and practices available include:
Fall tillage passes may be beneficial for most growers in 2019. Careful thought of what is desired coupled with the right piece of equipment can help lead the way for a successful 2020 season.
Fall tillage best practices. 2013. Ag Professional. Farm Journal’s AGPRO. https://www.agprofessional.com
Al-Kaisi, M. 2001. Fall tillage and tillage equipment. ICM News. Integrated Crop Management. Iowa State University. https://crops.extension.iastate.edu.
Web sites verified 8/21/19
Performance may vary, from location to location and from year to year, as local growing, soil and weather conditions may vary. Growers should evaluate data from multiple locations and years whenever possible and should consider the impacts of these conditions on the grower’s fields.
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