Compaction Effects Felt Long After Fall Tillage and Spring Planting

We’ve heard several reports about uneven corn stands this season, and compacted soils is one reason for some of the variability that’s now evident in the fields.    Today we’re following up our recent posts, Uneven Corn Stands Part 1 and Uneven Corn Stands Part 2, with a video example of compaction.

Steve Bailie, Latham RSM, recently shot this footage in his Southwest Wisconsin territory.  While completing fall tillage operations, the grower entered this field when it was too wet.  This action led to deep wheel tracks in the soil and compaction in the seedbed.


Here’s a photo of corn plants from the same field, eight rows apart.  Compaction took its toll on the plant on the left.

Make adjustments to your crop management plan this year to avoid situations like these from happening to your acres in 2012.  The majority of yield is determined during planting. Good things come to those who wait for the right seedbed conditions. For more tips on how to avoid soil compaction, read Mark Grundmeier’s post.