VF vs IF.png

VF (Agriflex+) tires can bear heavier loads and operate at lower inflation pressures than IF (Agriflex) and traditional radial tires. The larger footprint of the VF tire increases traction and minimizes compaction. Photo by: Yokohama

New Tire Technology Can Lead to 7% Yield Bump

Very high flexion tires & central tire inflation systems reduce compaction & increase yields significantly, expert says

Some amount of compaction is inevitable, even for no-tillers, but there are ways to minimize it by using new technologies developed by the ag tire industry over the past decade.  

“If you came to me and said, ‘Minimize compaction on my farm as much as you can,’ I would tell you to go with a VF tire and install a central tire inflation system. That’s the best way,” says James Crouch, national segment manager for Yokohama Off-Highway Tires and self-proclaimed “tire nerd.”

No-tillers can start by aiming for the biggest, most uniform tire footprint possible, Crouch says. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the biggest tires, especially for no-tillers looking to steer clear of certain areas in the field. 

“The more uniform the footprint, the lower the compaction because it’s all based on weight divided by square inches,” Crouch says. “But sometimes, depending on your fields, you’re locked into a specific tire size.”

Standard radial tires are better at minimizing compaction than old school bias tires, Crouch says, because they create a more uniform footprint. The weight put on bias tires doesn’t spread evenly across the footprint as much as it does with radial tires.

Tread Pattern Matters

Certain tread patterns can help alleviate compaction, James Crouch says, largely because of the pattern’s ability to reduce slip in the field.

“Slip does increase compaction because as you’re turning that tire around, you’re putting a lot of pressure on the soil,” Crouch says. “Look for tread patterns that create a happy medium…

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Noah Newman

Noah Newman started at Lessiter Media in March 2022 as Associate Editor for No-Till FarmerStrip-Till Farmer and Cover Crop Strategies. He previously worked in broadcast journalism as a sports anchor/reporter for television stations in central Illinois and most recently Jackson, Mississippi, where he was named the state’s sportscaster of the year by the National Sports Media Association. The Cleveland, Ohio, native looks forward to engaging with growers, learning extensively about their operations, and sharing impactful stories with the audience.

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