Excessively wet field conditions at harvest throughout the North Central and upper Midwest regions resulted in many fields with deep wheel-traffic compaction as evident by deep ruts from combines and grain wagons. Although this is a common occurrence during years with excessive moisture at harvest, the subsequent economic costs are rarely, if ever, projected for large regions.
In an article recently published in Agricultural & Environmental Letters,
researchers review the scientific literature on the persistence and quantity of yield reductions due to deep wheel-traffic compaction and then project the state-level economic costs to farmers that may be expect for the upcoming 2020 and 2021 crops in North Dakota and Minnesota.
The researchers estimate a median of 21% yield reduction to the upcoming 2020 and 2021 corn and soybean crops on lands impacted by deep wheel-traffic compaction during the 2019 harvest. Based on these reductions, they project a minimum economic cost of $587 million USD to farmers for every 10% of lands that were compacted during harvest. Click here to see more...