Articles by Dave Kanicki

Residue Management Drives Corn Head Developments

The trend to continuous corn, twin-row corn and Bt hybrids is shifting the task of managing increased residue to the corn head.
It used to be that the primary task of a corn head was to harvest corn: separate the ear from the stalk with as little grain loss as possible, while collecting as little trash as possible, says Marion Calmer, a no-till farmer with Calmer Corn Heads in Alpha, Ill. But as growers look to better integrate field operations, the corn head is playing an increasingly important role in managing crop residue as well.
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Understanding Vertical Tillage

The yield-robbing effects of soil compaction continue to be a major challenge for growers, but proponents of deep-tilling say they have an answer for returning compacted soils to fertile, highly productive acres.
Vertical tillage is described as a system of soil management that promotes root development. It's also sometimes called "soiling" or zone tillage because it's used to fracture the entire soil profile from the bottom up using specially designed vertical tillage tools. According to the Precision Planting Co., each tillage pass is designed to increase the vertical flow of nutrients, water and developing roots. Tillage points of the tools work to “heave” the entire section of earth from just below the line that separates topsoil from subsoil.
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More Width, Fewer Passes

When the seeding window of opportunity is narrow, wider drills help get the job done on time.
For more timely no-tilling, John Deere in late August introduced the 1990 CCS no-till air drill as a replacement for the 1890 model. For big-acreage growers, these new no-till drills offer many options for designing a high-capacity seeding rig to fit your operation.
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