Minnesota Farmer


Fall work continues

The harvest may be done, but there is plenty more to do.

I’ve been spending most of my days lately in this rig.  The tractor is a JD 4650 rated at about 180 horse power.  It’s pulling a 14 foot Wishek deep tillage disk.  With the dry conditions it has been turning over some really hard chunks of earth.  The last two years were wetter and did not allow me to till as deep as I would like to.  Now with drier conditions we’re sinking the Wishek in and really doing a good job.

On the left you see the corn stalks before they are disked, and on the right is the after.  I like the Wishek because it can go through the standing stalks without any other preparation.  It leaves a good amount of plant material on or near the surface to help control erosion without leaving too smooth of a surface.  The rough surface  creates ponding areas to hold water on the surface and let it go into the soil not run off.  The old plant material and rough surface will also help keep down wind erosion.  I have one field that I only worked part of the field.  Those areas that were too steep or too sandy I left untouched.  That will protect them during the harsh winds of winter.

This field will be corn again next year so we broadcast most of the fertilizer next years crop will need and work that into the top 8 inches of soil profile.  Next spring we’ll smooth this off a bit and plant it.  I like to keep at least 30% cover after planting to reduce erosion and promote water infiltration.

I also spent some time burning off the grass in a road ditch that is too steep to mow.  Burning removes the stems that could catch winter snow and keep it on the road.  It also helps to keep down weeds that are unwanted.  Burning tends to promote the growth of grasses over things like trees and broad leaf plants.  It also allowed me to spend some time reshaping part of the ditch so that I can get my mower down into it.

I also want to spend some time with these two young ladies.  Being a grandfather is such hard work you know.

Michael

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