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Have your agronomic questions answered by a Farm Journal agronomist. E-mail us directly at TestPlots@FarmJournal.com, and we’ll respond on this blog to provide an interactive dialogue.

How Do I Select A Tire That Won't Contribute To Compaction?

Sep 07, 2010

Question: We are looking into how to manage compaction better. In a 30-inch row set up what is better--a wider tire (520/85r46 @ 8.5 psi of ground pressure) which is closer to the row or a narrower tire (480/80R50 @ 10.5 psi of ground pressure) that is further away from row? Is it better to have less ground pressure closer to the row or a little more ground pressure further away from the row?

Answer: Tire inflation pressure is the primary factor affecting surface soil compaction. By selecting large, low-pressure tires we can reduce compaction. Also, adding duals can help with this as well. Even though we would be closer to the row with the wider tire, the impact of down force would be less since the tire is wider and runs with lower pressure. So, in the 30-inch row setup, I would choose the wider tire with the lower pressure. 
This blog is provided as an interactive way for you to have your questions answered by our Farm Journal Agronomists. E-mail your nitrogen, soil fertility, soil density, planter set up, scouting, and other questions to TestPlots@FarmJournal.com.
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