As we enter the prime planting window across many corn states, it’s important to consider factors influencing those dates and how to meet them — even under challenging conditions. It’s also a good time to think about how Case IH track technology can help you accomplish those goals more efficiently.
Several factors, including advancements in equipment, seed treatments, hybrid stress tolerance, tile drainage and reduced tillage, have helped move up corn planting dates by about two weeks compared with the 1970s.1 Although planting date is just one of several yield-influencing factors, relative grain yield potential of corn declines with delayed planting after specific dates (about May 1 in Indiana, for example).2
But remember: Patience pays. After all, corn won’t germinate in soil below 50 degrees F.1 And, although all field traffic causes compaction, working too-wet fields compounds the amount of compaction.3 When your fields are ready, Case IH track technology — from Steiger® to Magnum™ tractors and now Early Riser® planters — can help you preserve soil health while staying efficient in time and expense.
Saving your soils
Through exclusive Case IH design, our tracks oscillate and pivot to maintain a flat footprint that keeps the power on the ground. This design produces traction that is unaffected by hitch or drawbar load. Constant contact with the ground produces optimal pressure, ideal flotation and better traction.
With greater flotation and less soil compaction, Case IH tracked tractors go easy on your soils. For example, Quadtrac® tractors reduce ground pressure, resulting in minimal soil disturbance and less stress on your fields. Magnum Rowtrac™ tractors keep four points of ground contact, which reduces surface pressure and means less weight transfer from front to rear than with traditional two-track systems.
Case IH Steiger tractors already deliver record-setting efficiency. Tracks help transfer more of that efficient power to the ground. With a bigger footprint and longer wheelbase than other track systems, Quadtrac and Rowtrac tractors maintain full power through turns, without producing as many ruts or berms. Magnum Rowtrac tractors maintain a larger, more balanced footprint across irregular ground and headland turns.
Flexibility for your farm
Getting the most from your equipment is another great way to improve efficiency and return on investment. Case IH tracked equipment operates in multiple crops and a variety of field conditions and operations.
As you watch the calendar over the next few weeks, don’t forget what a day or two too soon to the field can cost you: 10 percent to 20 percent yield loss.4 Instead, talk to your Case IH dealer about how our track technology can help preserve your fields while saving time, fuel and labor — and improving the likelihood you’ll hit optimal planting dates.
1Abendroth L, Elmore R. Corn Planting Date Recommendations for Iowa. Iowa State University Extension Integrated Crop Management website. http://crops.extension.iastate.edu/corn-planting-date-recommendations-iowa. Published March 8, 2010. Accessed April 9, 2017.
2Nielsen RL. The Planting Date Conundrum for Corn. Purdue University Extension Corny News Network website. https://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/timeless/PltDateCornYld.html. Published May 25, 2016. Accessed April 9, 2017.
3Al-Kaisi M, Licht M. Soil moisture conditions — consideration for soil compaction. Iowa State University Extension Integrated Crop Management newsletter. http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/icm/2005/5-9-2005/soilmoist.html. Published May 9, 2005. Accessed April 9, 2017.
4Don’t Be Too Eager to Work That Soil! Penn State Extension Start Farming Blog. Penn State Extension website. http://extension.psu.edu/business/start-farming/news/2011/dont-be-too-eager-to-work-that-soil. Published April 7, 2011. Accessed April 9, 2017.