In the third installment of our Agronomic Design principles blog series, we’re talking about how maintaining proper soil tilth is essential in creating the best possible growing environment for plants. One challenge to this is moisture control, says Dr. Randy Raper, Professor at Oklahoma State University.
“You want to capture as much of that rain as possible and store it in your soil so that when you do get into the short-term droughts in the middle of the summer, you’ll be able to sustain them,” says Raper.
What are some ways to retain moisture in the soil? Raper says that by providing good organic matter through the use of a cover crop and minimizing compaction, growers can enhance drought resistance in their fields.
What methods do you use to improve soil tilth?
While Case IH Marketing Manager Ryan Schaefer says compaction is a necessary evil, controlling traffic, utilizing guidance and timing are all key to minimizing it. That’s why Case IH builds its equipment based on Agronomic Design principles that help producers maximize their yield potential, with a prime example being Case IH Quadtrac and Rowtrac technology.
“Our Quadtrac and Rowtrac technology spreads the weight of that high-horsepower tractor over a large surface area so that you have lower ground pressure,” says Schaefer. “That translates into less compaction in the soil, offering producers better soil tilth.”
Compared to the average floatation tire, Quadtrac technology can reduce ground pressure by as much as 50 percent, and Case IH Rowtrac technology by as much as 40 percent compared to row crop tires – making a big difference when it comes to soil tilth.
Raper has also seen the difference good soil tilth can make.
“With some of the studies that I’m aware of that we did in the southeast, we found that we had as much as two to three weeks more of short-term drought resistance when we had a good tilth.”
Learn more about maximizing your yield potential and return on investment with Case IH Agronomic Design, and be sure to check back for more installments of Agronomic Design principles.