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Corn+Soybean Digest

Letters

IS LESS REALLY MORE?

I want to applaud you on your article (Less is More, December issue, http://cornandsoybeandigest.com/corn/less_more_0101/) - Mike Brelsford is a customer of my dealership and it was difficult to convince him that he could accomplish this much with one set of equipment instead of two. So I am glad he has had success. I feel that one of Mike's additional keys to success is his use of satellite tracking, control and processing technologies. I think you could do a follow-up article on that alone.
- Don Van Houweling,
Van Wall Group, Perry, IA

My goal as a farmer is not how many acres I can farm but rather how I can make a living on the acres that I have. If it takes 5,000 acres for Mr. Brelsford to make a living, he must be a poor farmer. There are many of us that are able to do it on 500 to 600 acres. We can't have new paint all the time (and may not want it). We are probably better for the local community and are living a good life. We also have not made enemies being land hogs.
- Glenn Busenitz
Roanoke, IL

Corn & Soybean Digest welcomes and encourages your feedback. Please send your thoughts or suggestions to csd@csdigest.com.

CONTROL COMPACTION

Clay soils that are poorly drained have a long compaction memory, say Ohio State University soil scientists. On a no-till field, the compaction caused by one trip of a grain cart resulted in a 40% yield loss, with effects of the compaction continuing for eight years. They determined that it's better to prevent the compaction initially than struggle to eliminate it.

Preventing compaction can be achieved, say Ohio State researchers, by:

  1. Practicing minimal tillage techniques, such as chisel plowing or subsoiling.

  2. Relying on earthworms for help, but compaction reduces their population by 70%.

  3. Utilizing alfalfa or other cover crops that have deep taproots to open compacted soil.

  4. Leaving crop residue in fields to act as a buffer to dissipate any wheeled traffic.

  5. Using dual-axle equipment with wider tires to distribute weight over a wider area.

  6. Practicing controlled traffic to confine equipment traffic to specific paths each year.

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