With all of the rain this fall many farmers have been harvesting in wetter field conditions than they would normally like. This has resulted in quite a few fields showing ruts. The instinct is to return to the field and fix these through aggressive tillage. This is not recommended. The ruts have already damaged the soil’s structure and aggressive tillage will damage it even more. Instead, fill in the ruts with light tillage by running equipment at an angle. This may require multiple passes and the areas won’t yield as well as non-rutted areas next year but it is preferable to trying to fix them with extensive tillage. If fields are in a conservation program, be sure to check with the Natural Resources Conservation Service before doing any tillage.

Cover Crops Field Day

The Boone County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and Boone County Extension Service are hosting a Cover Crops Field Day on Thursday, Nov. 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The program will be held in the Annex Building at the Boone County 4-H Fairgrounds at 1300 E. 100 S. in Lebanon.

The program will include touring cover crop plots to discuss production systems and impacts on soil structure and health. Corey Lacey from Purdue Agronomy will discuss Nutrient cycling, particularly Nitrogen, and Cover Crops. Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Scientist Mike Wigginton will lead us through the plot tours. A farmer panel will be on hand to discuss specifics of cover crop management.

There is no cost to attend and lunch is provided. Pre-registration is requested to help with meal planning. To register call the Boone County SWCD at 765-482-6355, ext. 3 or send an e-mail to svaughn@co.boone.in.us by Monday, Nov. 26. Part of the program will take place outside at the field plots so participants should dress accordingly.

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