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Consider history, not drought, when contemplating fall tillage

—Compiled by Kathleen M. Dutro
Public Relations Team

Farmers should consider the short- and long-term effects of fall tillage on their fields and not just the effects of the drought on this year's crop, a Purdue Extension agronomist said.

Tillage loosens and rearranges soil aggregates with the intent of establishing a better foundation for crop seed placement and root growth, but the drought itself has already accomplished deep cracking and loosening of some soils. The drought also reduced the post-harvest crop residue that is often used as an additional justification for tillage.

"Tillage decisions should never be based on one year's crop yield," Tony Vyn said. A farmer's natural reaction to a drought year is disappointment, and that may lead to what Vyn called "revenge tillage."

For the full release, visit Purdue Agricultural Communications’ news site, ag.purdue.edu/agcomm/Pages/agnews.aspx. (Purdue 10/11/12)

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