While the Hoosier harvest is over, growers are spending a lot of time in their fields repairing damage caused by the excessive rain and flooding that hit the state this summer. Brian Bush, field agronomist with DuPont Pioneer, said soil compaction was a problem in fields that saw flooding this year. “This dry fall has allowed growers to get into their fields and work the soil without running the risk of causing more compaction,” Bush said. “A lot of growers are doing some deep tillage to break up the compacted soil.”
Bush said a large number of his customers are taking the opportunity this fall to plant cover crops, “This is a chance to get a vegetative cover on the ground as well as get those roots down in the soil to break up the hardpan soil.” He added this will also help improve the soil health that may have been impacted by the excessive moisture this year.
Another activity taking place this fall is tiling. “Drainage was the name of the game in 2015,” Bush said. “If you had good drainage in a field, you could move soybean yields from an average of 40 bpa to 60 bpa.” He said even with a tight farm economy there is a good deal of tiling being done.
Fall weed control programs are also getting underway. Bush said many producers were unable to get their weed control programs completed this summer due to the excessive rains, “We had a lot of very weedy fields at harvest.” As a result, growers are using a burndown or applying herbicides this fall to control winter annuals.