Seedbed preparation starts at harvest with even residue distribution out the back of your combine. But it’s the next step that sets up your fields for success come spring — if you choose the right tillage tool and get it set right.
Whether you’re driving the combine, towing a grain cart, deep tilling or simply bringing lunch to the field, you’re running on rubber. Ensuring you’re rolling on the right tires and tracks — and properly caring for them — can help the season go more smoothly and efficiently.
Whether wet fields are hindering your harvest or you’re rolling along in drier conditions, locating and breaking up hard pan or compaction layer during postharvest tillage can help improve moisture management heading into next year and beyond.
Of all the hats you’ll wear between now and the end of the season, your crop residue manager hat might be the most important. How well you wear it will help determine yields next year and beyond.
Whether monitoring fields from the ground or from up above, you’re bound to find a handful of problem areas that have you stumped. A plant analysis can be a useful diagnostic tool. And in many regions, the window to gather samples is open.
“We’re trying to be the most efficient we can be with what we have,” says Jason Strode. Jason and his father, Richard, farm about 5,200 acres of corn and soybean crops near Owensboro, Kentucky, where they’ve begun focusing on nitrogen management and have looked harder at providing nitrogen to the crop when it needs it.
If walking your fields this summer feels a bit like riding a roller coaster — even on your most level ground — make sure you walk some fields planted by a 2000 series Early Riser® planter. The consistency fencerow-to-fencerow is likely to sooth your queasiness.
This spring’s weather challenges provided an excellent reminder about just how tight production windows can become. With the season fresh in our memories, it’s not too soon to think about how important fall tillage is to our cropping cycle and about how weather can squeeze that opportunity, too.
To be sure, efficiency is neither a new nor unusual goal in farming. But it’s reassuring to know that when conditions dictate, we’ve got the tools and the drive to accomplish even more in a tighter time frame. That’s precisely the scenario that’s played out across the western Corn Belt this spring.
Waiting out the weather — it’s a spring tradition most of us would rather avoid. This year, it’s testing the mettle of many in the western Corn Belt. Still, it’s important to remain patient and stay ready for when conditions improve.