"Keep the seed bed sacred," says Farm Journal’s Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie in Episode 10 of Corn College TV Season 3. Getting an early start with the appropriate tillage techniques helps to manage residue and water moving through soil profile, from planting to early root establishment.
Ferrie says that a common challenge that farmers run into is setting up a vertical format when eliminating horizontal tillage. In this instance, he warns, be careful about shallow horizontal layers that can be sheared off and cause issues for young plants.
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"With vertical tillage tools, if they can move soil sideways," Ferrie says, "they can actually sheer off a surface layer that will give young plants trouble." This should especially be monitored in dry windy areas where there is not enough moisture to keep the layers intact.
For more information on tillage techniques from the Farm Journal agronomy experts, watch Episode 10 of Corn College TV below.