Farmers everywhere know that in order to maximize yields
, they must take specific steps before and during the planting season. While it typically depends on weather conditions, it is best if larger crops such as corn or soybeans are planted between mid-April and mid-May. Each farmer is different in terms of how they plant, with each practicing a range of techniques and employing various types of agricultural equipment to get their land where they need it to be for the current season and for seasons to come.
How To Prepare for Planting Season
In order to maximize yields, farmers will have to take the necessary steps before the planting season begins. Considering specific planting measures will be important to growing crops properly, as well as being as efficient as possible. Let’s take a look at some of the checklist items that will help your soil be its best this season.
Prepare the Land for Planting
Farm owners can also consider tillage
or chemical “burn down” before planting crops to help kill weeds in the seedbed. If this is not done, the weeds could crowd out the crop and steal necessary moisture and nutrients. Taking precautions to effectively prepare fields helps reduce stress, while also helping to kick off the planting season the right way.
Farmers typically utilize one of three different types of tilling when preparing the soil. Conventional tillage uses moldboard plows, followed by multiple secondary tillages, and then later relies upon mechanical cultivation once the crop is up.
Common farm preparation practices include reduced tillage. This is accomplished using a chisel plow, and conservation tillage, allowing for more than 30% of residue coverage to remain on top of the soil. This method helps limit the negative effects that tilling can have on land.
The Importance of Soil Testing
According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’
s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, taking soil samples in spring is essential to determine the concentration of sulfur, potassium, phosphorous, micronutrient, and lyme. By testing soil early enough in the process, producers can take the appropriate action and make adjustments as needed. If proper adjustments are made, you will have perfect soil conditions for growing all kinds of crops as it helps to kill weeds within the seedbed that could negatively influence planting operations.
Taking extra steps such as this will allow producers to engage in the optimization of crop production. When testing soil, producers should also make sure to consider moisture lines. This helps to determine planting depth, which can impact growth and seed-to-soil contact.
It’s important to prepare your tractor before you head to the field. Ideally, you do not want to have to worry about how compaction may negatively impact your yields as you prep your soil for spring.
- Have the right ballast: This may be a lighter ballast than what you had during the fall season.
- Adjust tire pressure: You will want to ensure that you have tire pressures as low as you possibly can according to tire recommendations. 10 PSI or less is ideal.
- Choose higher floatation wheels: This reduces the impact of your tracks during your tillage operation.
- Reduce PSI on a track machine: This can go a long way when it comes to reducing the impact of compaction and depth.
- Upgrading to an IF tire: Making this change can reduce the impact of compaction even more.
- Utilizing VF tires: Using these tires can help you achieve a tire pressure below 10 PSI.
Agricultural Equipment for Planting
Before the planting season begins, farmers should plan their next moves carefully so they can ensure they are getting the most out of their field. The same goes for making sure they have the proper equipment going into planting season. Let’s take a look at some agricultural equipment that can be beneficial during this time.
Tillage equipment helps producers prepare for the growing season as efficiently as possible. This could include anything from disks to plows, to field cultivators, variable-intensity tillage tools, and more. Additionally, producers can opt for TruSet™ Tillage technology, designed to help increase productivity in short tillage windows by making on-the-go depth and down-pressure adjustments from the cab – in only six seconds.Click here to see more...