May 13, 2021

Minimize yield loss from soil compaction

Pay attention to soil moisture

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Avoiding mistakes at planting can prevent heartache later on.

Excessive soil compaction is a common mistake that can be avoided with proper knowledge and planning.

“Roughly 80% of compaction occurs on your first pass,” said Jonathan Rotz, Pioneer field agronomist. “Minimizing trips on a field and hitting that same path multiple times, while creating severe compaction in those areas, will both focus the compaction in a small area and make it easier to remediate in the future.”

Although yield loss from soil compaction can vary widely, severe compaction can cause losses of up to 60%.

Favorable growing conditions, such as timely precipitation and high soil fertility, can minimize compaction at planting.

Three Tips To Minimize Compaction

1. Avoid working wet soils, especially in the spring.

2. Control wheel traffic.

3. Use larger diameter tires and decrease tire inflation to increase surface area.

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor