By most accounts, last year’s crops came off with few hiccups. And then the switch flipped. In many areas, the season’s first run of bad weather shut down most fall fieldwork — and that was that. If you’re wondering how you’ll get your fields ready to plant this spring, it’s not too early to strategize.
Today’s guest blogger is Chris Lursen, Case IH tillage marketing manager. He’s got some great advice about how to approach this spring’s challenges:
We know crops yield better when they get off to a fast, uniform start.1 Certainly, your planter plays a big role. But it can do its job better when it’s working in a high-efficiency seedbed. Creating the perfect seedbed is a year-round job. Even if we’re playing a bit of catchup this spring, it’s important to do all we can to set up our fields for success.
Analyze your residue. We had some great yields last year. Extra bushels in the bin can mean higher levels of crop residue in the field. Ideally, your combine did a good job sizing and evenly distributing residue out the back. Hop on your ATV. Take a spin across representative areas of your fields and get a feel for any areas with an extra-heavy blanket of residue.
How are field conditions? There are a number of tillage tools that can be used to help manage residue by cutting or burying or both. But choose wisely. If fields are dry or if you have drought concerns, consider depth of tillage and leaving as much residue cover as possible to help preserve moisture.
Look for efficiencies. Yield is important, but so is the expense side of the ledger. Could adding or changing the finishing tool save you a pass across your field or even some of your fields? Can you accomplish your goals using a tillage tool that requires less horsepower or less fuel to operate?
Fine-tune settings. From leveling to depth control to operating speed, many interrelated adjustments can have a big impact on implement performance. Consult you operators manual about recommended settings specific to your goals and individual field conditions.
Don’t forget your planter. The 2000 series Early Riser® planter is designed to handle high levels of crop residue. It’s fully customizable and adjustable to individual field conditions. In combination with our full line of tillage equipment — especially the Tiger-Mate® 255 field cultivator — the 2000 series Early Riser is ideally suited to help bring together all of the agronomic elements for success this growing season.
So check your fields, and then talk to your Case IH dealer about the best regimen to help quickly and efficiently ready your farm for planting this spring.
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1Elmore R, Abendroth L. What are the yield effects of uneven corn heights? Iowa State University Integrated Crop Management website. http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/icm/2006/6-12/cornheight.html. Published June 12, 2006. Accessed February 26, 2017.