Eliminating soil compaction is on the agenda for many growers this fall, but there is a danger of doing more harm than good. Some deep fall tillage may be needed this year and would help eliminate ruts and compaction in your fields. However, Lance Shepard with Pioneer said, with wet soils this fall, you could cause more compaction by trying to eliminate it.
“Beware of soil moisture out there or you might be doing more damage.”
He added that getting it done this fall would be preferable, but if your fields don’t dry out, it may be better to wait until spring. “A lot of farmers want to get ahead of it and not wait until next spring,” he stated. “But, if this soil is not dry enough, you could be causing compaction while you are working to eliminate it.” Shepard urged growers to make sure soils are dry before doing any fall fieldwork.
Tillage is not the only reason to take heavy equipment into the fields this fall. Shepard said many growers will be needing to update soil fertility.
“Be aware of the yields you took off a field, and plan to replenish the fertility, especially the P&K.”