Ag News

Slow Down; Minimize Soil Compaction

IABRN — Many fields scattered along Interstate 35 South remain empty, some with water-filled tire ruts.

A southeast Iowa agronomist offers advice to producers faced with soil compaction.

Mother Nature offered farmers no other choice last fall. Frequent rain showers delayed harvest continuously. “If producers wanted to get crops out, they were undoubtedly going to compact soils,” recalls Karl Buttenhoff, technical agronomist for Channel Seed in southeast Iowa.

The odds seem to be stacked against producers again this harvest season. Buttenhoff offers tips to alleviate compaction problems this fall.

“If you’ve had quite a bit of moisture in the past couple of weeks, but have fields that are starting to see stalk lodging or beans starting to shatter, the biggest thing would be to load trucks outside of the field or keep them in one area to minimize compaction across the field,” Buttenhoff said. “Don’t be loading your grain cart to the top, to minimize compaction.”

Buttenhoff hopes wet weather does not continue. He recommends fall tillage to mend compacted areas, especially if drier conditions ensue.

“Fall would be a good time to run your deep tillage implement tools, to try to break up some compaction layers we have going into next spring,” Buttenhoff said.

This article originally appeared on the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network

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