Search This Blog

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Saving Trips Across the Field

In keeping with a theme, besides fertility and crop protection products, where can you cut back?

When I was a young soil scientist in Madison County, the debate was still open as to whether or not conservation tillage works.  I think that is long settled, but we still sometimes see recreational tillage.  You should definitely be looking at the number of trips you are making.
  • Do you really need to "size" that residue with a disking or vertical tillage before chisel plowing? I would say not.  
  • Does the soybean stubble really need primary tillage to plant corn or can you get by with just some vertical tillage or field cultivating?
  • Do you need to make that second pass of secondary tillage before planting?  The planter will push the clods out of the way.
  • If your field was ready to plant and you get a rain on it, why do you want to till it again?  The stale seedbed will be firm and give you a more even stand.
  • In the past, researchers have found that soybeans yield best when drilled with no other tillage.
Consider combining crop protectants where possible.  Apply fungicide and insecticides together is one of those combinations.

Can you cut back on seed costs?  I defer to the seed corn people on their population recommendations.  They know what it takes to get the most out of a particular hybrid.  Soybeans however can be very forgiving on populations.  Research I have seen says that 120,000 to 130,000 soybeans per acre is enough in most instances.  Of you are still planting 160,000 try cutting back to 140,000. 

No comments: