Paul Jasa - Extension Engineer

By replacing one solid closing wheel with a spiked one, closing the seed-vee becomes easier in a variety of conditions.

Avoiding Sidewall Compaction at Planting April 19, 2019

Don't let this season's planting conditions get the better of your crop stand. Described here are four factors contributing to sidewall compaction and steps you can take to minimize the challenge.

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Wet soil compaction

Addressing Harvest Ruts and Erosion Gullies April 11, 2019

With the wet spring, producers need to evaluate soil moisture conditions before heading to their fields to clean up flood debris and fill in ruts, rills, and gullies.

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Tilling wet soil creates additional problems

Wait For Better Conditions Before Heading Out On Wet Soils April 11, 2019

If you're putting a log chain or tow strap in the tractor cab just in case you get stuck, even you know it’s too wet. Waiting a day or two for the soil to dry out some will provide better soil conditions for planting and stand establishment.

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Figure 1. Standing residue captures snow across this no-till field, reducing blowing snow and erosion. (Photos by Paul Jasa)

Leave the Stubble to Protect the Soil November 16, 2018

No-till November, a USDA NRCS campaign, encourages farmers to park their tillage implements this fall, in favor of keeping crop residue on the soil surface. Using no-till as a system reduces erosion, runoff, and soil moisture evaporation.

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A diverse 14-way mix was planted into wheat stubble immediately after harvest to keep living roots in the field.  The cover crop is using sunlight and carbon dioxide to put energy and carbon into the soil to feed the soil biology.
A diverse 14-way mix was planted into wheat stubble immediately after harvest to keep living roots in the field. The cover crop is using sunlight and carbon dioxide to put energy and carbon into the soil to feed the soil biology. (Photo by Paul Jasa)

Cover Crops for Soil Health in Storm-damaged Fields July 13, 2018

Fields that were hailed, flooded, windblown, or where planting was prevented this season can benefit from the many soil services provided by cover crops. In addition a growing cover crop can help reduce erosion from water and wind and may help protect soil moisture levels.

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Planting
Figure 1. Planting down the old row and leaving the residue attached can help reduce the potential for wind erosion. Residue movers should not be used as they detach residue, allowing it to be moved by wind or water.

Practices to Reduce Wind Erosion May 11, 2018

Keeping your soil covered with growing cover crops or crop residue are two of the best ways to help protect it from wind erosion. Both practices will help to keep the wind off the soil surface and reduce soil moisture evaporation, providing a moister soil that's less apt to move.

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Soybean seedlings in no-till field
Figure 1. With almost 100% residue cover, this soil surface is protected from raindrop impact, greatly reducing erosion and crusting. The residue will also reduce evaporation by keeping the sun and wind off the soil surface. (Photos by Paul Jasa)

Building Resilient Soil Systems using Residue, No-till, and Cover Crops March 29, 2018

Crop residue, cover crops, and no-till farming practices can provide a positive buffering effect to changes in climate and extreme weather events. Together they can help keep more water and soil on-farm and contribute to improved soil health.

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To avoid compacting more of the field, the grain cart should run down the same row middles as the combine. An auger extension may be needed on the combine to get the wheel tracks to line up. The wheel spacing on the combine, tractor, and grain cart should be adjusted to all run between the rows.
To avoid compacting more of the field, the grain cart should run down the same row middles as the combine. An auger extension may be needed on the combine to get the wheel tracks to line up. The wheel spacing on the combine, tractor, and grain cart should be adjusted to all run between the rows.

Avoiding Compaction at Harvest October 11, 2017

If you're worried about compacting still-wet soils this fall, these recommendations can help you avoid or reduce potential compaction and its effects on next year's yields.

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