We all know that pulling a roller behind the tractor in wet conditions is akin to rolling dough without flour, with one key difference: you likely never have to park your embarrassing, dough-covered rolling pin beside the highway for all to see. Conversely, in dry conditions, a roller can actually pulverize the soil, increasing the risk of erosion. But what about timing rolling with the health of the plants in mind?
In this episode of Pulse School, Neil Whatley, Crop Specialist with Alberta Ag-Info Centre, explains the importance of timing when rolling pulse crops. Whatley cautions that rolling when the plants are emerging has proven detrimental, and that exposing a pulse crop to stress when it’s already under stress can increase disease susceptibility. Whatley encourages producers to time rolling such that the plants are: flexible (starting late in the morning), actively growing (temperatures are less than 27 degrees C) and unstressed (three days after a frost, several days after a herbicide application).
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