Compaction concerns evident with harvest pushed back

An extension soil specialist is concerned wet conditions and a late harvest will lead to extensive compaction this fall.

Jodi DeJong-Hughes with the University of Minnesota says ideally, farmers know when to stay out of wet fields.

“But that is not going to be an option for quite a few people this year.”

And if working in saturated soil is unavoidable, she tells Brownfield axle load and tire inflation management can make a difference.

“When you’re looking at axle load, you want to keep towards 10 tons per load because that keeps the compaction in the top 8 to 10 inches (of the soil). That way you can till it out later.”

DeJong-Hughes points out the combine and grain cart are typically two of the heaviest pieces of equipment used during harvest and she recommends having the grain cart run in the old combine tracks where possible.

She says another way to decrease ground pressure is to utilize tracks or radial tires with a psi under 15.

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