By James J. Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services
Tire damage from harvested crop residue is a major problem. Due to genetic modifications, higher corn populations with more stalks, and low cutting heights the shorter stiffer stubble causes tire damage. Stalks cut 3 inches to 5 inches high do not allow the tires to push the stalk over to minimize tire penetration, creating a “field of rebar” that the tires have to cross. The strength of the stalks combined with changing harvesting techniques, leave shorter stalks and increased tire wear and is especially prevalent with certain corn and soybean varieties.
Soil health can play an important role in stubble decomposition. Soil temperatures above 50 degrees F, adequate moisture, and healthy fungus speed up crop residue decomposition. Unfortunately, longer maturity crops, late harvest (colder temperatures), and fungicide application are negative factors in stubble decomposition. Utilizing early maturing crop varieties and limiting fungicide application helps decompose stubble.… Continue readingRead More »