Tillage Update - Harvest management
Harvest time is upon us and it is usually the busiest time on any tillage farm. Shay Phelan, Teagasc Tillage Specialist has simple tips here which can make the job in hand a bit more efficient and which can also have long term benefits on soil structure.
Harvest time is upon us and it is usually the busiest time on any tillage farm with the constant battle with weather to get crops cut and baled in time, however a few simple tips can make the job in hand a bit more efficient and can also have long term benefits on soil structure.
In wet seasons soils can be severely damaged by large machinery especially grain trailers, telehandlers, bale trailers etc. This damage can have significant impacts on the following crops so a simple traffic plan for all drivers, especially casual labour, is essential.
Consider the following points to reduce the risk of damage on soils
- Tractors and grain trailers should be parked on tramlines and facing towards the gate. Avoid turning in the field when the trailer is full.
- All traffic should be confined to tramlines as much as possible.
- Check tyre pressures on all machines to see if they at the optimum pressure for field conditions.
- Only use chaser bins or trailers with low ground pressure tyres when side filling from the combine.
- Collect straw bales where possible with bale chasers. Avoid stacking bales in rows for easy loading onto trailers, loaders will have driven over the same area at least 4 times.
- Avoid using industrial loaders with road tyres when loading straw
- In broken weather consider chopping straw on end headlands to make it easier to bale the rest of the field. A lot of this straw gets trampled and it takes it longer to dry out. It facilitates easier combining and the straw will have nutritional and structural benefits to the soil.
- Straw Trucks should only enter the field if soil conditions are good and they should remain on tramlines.
- Grain trucks should never enter the field as the tyres are not suitable for field conditions
The Tillage Edge Podcast
On this week’s episode of the Tillage Edge podcast, Shay Phelan speaks with Dermot Forristal and Brendan Burke form Oak Park about machine settings to maximise output at harvest while maintaining grain quality.
Keep up to date with Teagasc Tillage events at https://www.teagasc.ie/tillagemonth/
You can check out the latest Tillage newsletter at Tillage Newsletter - July 2022
Find out more information and advice from the Teagasc Crops team here. The Teagasc Crops Specialists issue an article on a topic of interest to tillage farmers every Thursday on Teagasc Daily. Find your local Teagasc office here