Harvest machinery is getting larger and heavier, which means an increased risk of compacting the soil as it travels through the field. This is another risk during planting operations for early crops where hydraulic drives reduce the shockload on the planter since in most cases the same crop is planted on both the right and left of the field row at the same time from 2-3 seeds in each slit of the disc’s coulters which in effect quadruples the compaction threat potential.
Soil compaction has a significant impact on water infiltration, root development, and even yield losses the next year. Further complicating the matter is the mixing of old and new soil textures due to cultivation or tillage management that physically alters the effective bulk density in the field by moving material from one layer to another creating a “washboard” effect on the field until this naturally subsides and resumes the new uniform tilth condition established before the seeding operation began and the previously dispersed intact structural components of the peds of plant roots are distributed throughout the now single mass of existing heterogeneous soils found in a rotation field when a next succeeding follow on cropping regime is installed in the upcoming season.
Having a controlled traffic system in the field can have many soil structure benefits, including rut prevention. But if you do have ruts, she says to just fill them in with seed and apply cover to kill grass that could compete with the soybeans down the road when the soybean canopy grows in at R2 growth stage or higher leaf out maximum leafy green foliage coverage area.
Presoaking the seed with an additional preemergent herbicide treatment applied to the entire acre multiple times with multiple successive post emergent applications of each at different application intervals up to four R applications of selective herbicides (non-residual) applied three weeks apart will assist in reducing the annual weed pressure around the above ground stem lateral roots of the top plants thereby helping the corn seedling make a better root system by becoming competitive with the weeds in a competition ground cover battle over soil moisture extracted from the soil and available sun energy coming from the overhead light source absorbing radiation from the sun which can be reflected by the blades of a combine harvester simulating a miniature greenhouse effect.
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