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Northern Illinois Agriculture

University of Illinois Extension
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Midway through October

Posted by Russel Higgins -

After the weekend rain, ¾ of an inch at the NIARC, activities started to resume this afternoon. For those currently involved in fall tillage operations, the rain may ease the diesel required and the wear on chisel points. It is always interesting to read views from our neighboring states. Today I came across an article authored by Dr. Tony Vyn, Purdue Extension agronomist sharing an interesting perspective on primary tillage operations following a drought. He also shared what has to be my a new favorite term

"Revenge Tillage", what farmers do to get back at Mother Nature?

In his article Dr. Vyn reminds farmers to consider the purpose for primary tillage. He shared that tillage loosens and rearranges soil aggregates with the intent of establishing a better foundation for crop seed placement and root growth, but the drought itself has already accomplished deep cracking and loosening of some soils. For those who experienced reduced yield, the drought also reduced the post-harvest crop residue that is often used as an additional justification for tillage. "It's been consistent that there are very few yield-related reasons for doing fall tillage on well-drained soils in a corn-soybean rotation. There's more justification when a field is on a corn-corn rotation or it has poorly drained soils. "

Dr. Vyn's article in its entirety can be read here

http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2012/Q4/agronomist-consider-history,-not-drought,-when-contemplating-fall-tillage.html


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