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field is going to be planted to wheat probably in October. As you
can see thereís only wheat stubble or straw here now. Weíll
leave this field alone until later in the summer when the soil
will be prepared for planting. I donít like to plant wheat every
year in the same field because diseases can cause trouble, but
this will be a seed production field and it wonít be used for
grain production. That means the seed that is harvested next
summer will be cleaned and bagged for other farmers to plant in
the fall of 2001.
August our field was tilled using a large tillage tool called a chisel.
This lifts and turns the soil, which loosens the soil but it
leaves a considerable amount of wheat stubble to protect the soil
from erosion. You can see how rough the soil appears. There are a
lot of big clods.
next tillage operation is a field cultivator, which further
smooths and conditions the soil. With each tillage operation more
residue is worked into the soil making it easier to plant.
look a little closer at the field cultivator. These silver things
are called sweeps or shovels. They run under the soil and that
mixes the soil.
got problems here. These are huge clods. We wonít be able to
plant the seed in these conditions. The machine that plants the
seed, which is called a grain drill wonít work very well in
these conditions. Do you know why we have these clods? I think our
field was chiseled when the soil was too wet back in July. The
chisel lifted big slabs of soil to the surface and bingo... weíve
got clods. Now we have to smooth them out and thatís going to
require some rain and more field cultivator operations in the
future. Letís compare what the soil looks like before and after
the first field cultivator operation.
can see on the right side the field appears to be rough and thereís
a lot of residue. On the left you can see the field is a little
smoother and thereís not as much residue standing. The left side
has been tilled with a field cultivator.