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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Drainage in Athensville Greenfield area.

Worked in Greene County again today.  Weather is great for harvest.  I got a yield report from customer today.  He said corn yields were as low as 50 in flat fields and as high as 220 in rolling fields.  Soybeans are good everywhere.  The range is wide, but all good.  Yields are running between 55 and 80.  Not too shabby. 

Soil is drying out better than I expected.  It is finally getting dry enough that tillage will not harm it.  I have seen number of fields moldboard plowed this year.  This will add lots of air and speed up microbial action.  It will also release extra nutrients.  The down side is that moldboard plowing increases erosion potential.  Soil blowing is almost always a problem at some point.  It also decomposes organic matter at an accelerated rate.  In addition, it compacts the whole layer at whatever depth it is plowed at.  I think the negatives outweigh the positives. 

He mentioned that he had one field that had a drainage system on half of it.  He said the drained half outyielded the undrained half by 50 bushels per acre.  Push your pencil on that.  You could have put $250 toward drainage this year alone with $5 corn.  Drainage is considered a long term investment, but it can be recovered fairly quickly.

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