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Fall tillage done, time to check soil tests

TAGS: Tillage
Alter_photo/Getty Images Plus tillage-and-soil-tests-639976324.jpg
With friendly weather lots of fertilizer is being applied to farm fields.

Our part time help has returned to work on the ‘honey-do’ list. Dad and I have slipped in a couple of office work days. We have cut back work hours, but our focus remains doing some small drainage jobs that are not usually possible this time of year. I’m glad basketball is still being played. It is different refereeing in an empty gym, but that’s a story for another day.

Every time the weatherman forecasts a rain event, I feel it will be the one that ends the season. That’s just the way it usually goes. But in keeping pace with 2020, why should anything be as usual?

Since we finished harvest a couple weeks ago, we finished up fall tillage. We touched every field that we wanted, and could have done more extensive work. A good chunk of what we did this fall was vertical tillage. This season didn’t ‘beat up’ much ground, so we didn’t see the need to do a lot of chiseling (we’ve done a lot the last several years). The tillage we did was mainly for residue management.

Soil tests results are in

As we harvested, soil tests were being collected by our agronomist. Soon after results and recommendations were returned to us. The local co-op got all our lime spread, even having enough time to do some small spots in fields that we would usually skip until more of the field called for lime. We also did some fall fertilizer which is something we haven’t done much of the last few years. We focused on fixing some micronutrient deficiencies.

With the weather being so conducive to getting this work done, it’ll be interesting to see how the fertilizer markets play out this winter. I think a lot of guys have ‘snuck’ product out the door which will reduce demand. I’m sure with commodity prices up, fertilizer prices will go up, but I think many farmers are ahead of the game right now.

Weed control decisions

We probably should have done some fall herbicides burndown, but we’ve been busy ditching and have given that priority. We hesitated when it came to paying the custom applicator charges when our machine is sitting in the shop keeping warm.

If we don’t have any more opportunities this fall, there will be time in the spring; however, our fear is the warm weather we’ve had lately is giving winter annuals a leg up.

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