Summer soil tillage after harvest

Tanja Folnovic

Summer is harvesting time for winter and spring crops. The amount and quality of yield are the result of agro-technical and agro-climatic characteristics of the production period. We can’t influence the climate conditions, but soil management is an area in which farmer can show all his knowledge and skills. Although harvesting activities are important, we can’t diminish the importance of soil care after harvest. The proper preparation of the soil for the next growing season (or next growing culture) begins immediately after harvest of the previous crop. The first and most important task is timely and appropriate dusting of stubble field, unless the applicable processing technologies are omitted (no-tillage). Processing itself affects the total physical soil condition. Dusting of stubble field is shallow soil tillage, with depth around 10-20 cm. Except plowing of crop remains, the aim is to break the capillarity and reduction of moisture loss from the soil and control of vegetation weed. Summer rainfall and crop residue are entered into soil, which enhances the activity of microorganisms. Further tillage is facilitated, because the reduction of soil resistances. It is usually carried out with furrow plows, and more recently disking with heavier discs. Dusting of stubble field should be done immediately after harvest because the soil dries quickly-day loss of water from the soil is 1-2%, and if the soil moisture drops below 1%, dusting of stubble field is much more difficult. Also the energy costs for the following tillage are increased 10-21%. For basic tillage of drained soil 20-30% more fuel is necessary. Before dusting of stubble field it is necessary to apply nitrogenous fertilizer to avoid nitric depression, or "consumption" of nitrogen by microorganisms. After dusting, the surface should be rolled and harrowed in order to establish capillarity in the upper soil layers and breaks of capillarity on the soil surface. In the summer, before plowing, farmer can perform some agricultural practices that are intended to improve the soil condition for the next culture:
  • Destruction of perennial weeds. It’s best to use a non-selective translocation herbicide based on the active ingredients glyphosate.
  • Undermining the soil. Due to utilization and use of heavier machinery and equipment, and to exclude the incorporation of organic compounds into soil, leads to faster and stronger soil compaction.
  • Calcification, as we wrote in the previous blog post. Calcium is a very important biogenic macro element whose amount in the soil decreases over time. The lack is manifested by symptoms such withering away the tops of young plants, root degeneration, appearance of dark-colored leaves, buds falling off, stem weakening, or emergence of bitter spots.
[spacer size="15"] In Agrivi knowledge base all operations of soil tillage and other agricultural practices are given, as well as details about when and how to perform them. Prepare the soil well for the next culture and reduce unnecessary costs of processing, with the help of Agrivi farm management software. Well cultivated soil after harvest provides a number of favorable soil conditions, but also opens up more opportunities to further tillage and crops cultivation. One of the important features after dusting of stubble field is sowing of second crop, what you can read in our next blog post. Ready to improve your farming? We’re making farming simple.