Category: In the Dirt

In The Dirt: How MOM Helps Farmers Meet 4R Fertility Management Goals

In this episode of In The Dirt, Salford’s Jim Boak introduces us to AGRIS Co-operative agronomist Dale Cowan and the role agronomists play in helping farmers implement and achieve 4R nutrient stewardship. Boak recommends farmers pay particular attention to how Cowan uses an approach called MOM to meet 4R objectives. This includes using the right… Read more »

In the Dirt: The 4Rs of Fertility Management and Their Impact on Field Decisions

Do you know your four Rs of fertility management? The 4Rs mean using the right fertilizer source, at the right rate for your soil and crop, making sure the nutrient is available in the right form at the right time. If you haven’t ever heard of the 4R initiative, welcome to a new focus for… Read more »

In the Dirt: Making Strip Tillage Work

When Mark Muench was frustrated with the strip tillage tool options available to him, he decided to work with Salford to develop a new tool that would tackle the conditions on his farm near Ogden, Iowa. Over a decade of adjusting his soil management practices and equipment went in to getting strip tillage right on… Read more »

In The Dirt: Considerations for a Late Harvest — All About Ruts & Planning Ahead

The soybean harvest is likely behind by about two weeks for much of Ontario and parts of the U.S. For those who may want to get wheat or cover crops in, time is of the essence, and that can mean that waiting for ideal soil conditions before planting or working the ground doesn’t happen. But… Read more »

In the Dirt: Tillage Research — Trials & Tribulations

One year and one field does not a trial make, says Mark Van Veen, with Salford, in regards to some of the findings gleaned from the company’s tillage trials in Michigan. Salford has spent a few years evaluating several types and timing of tillage in an effort to put together reasonable comparisons of expected planter… Read more »

In the Dirt: A Time Lapse Look at the Impact of Tillage on Corn Residue

There’s nothing quite like demo plots — where else will you find head to head comparisons of one variety or practice compared against its neighbour? The trouble with plots, though, is that you only usually see them once and then have to wait for data months later to find out what the real difference was… Read more »

In the Dirt: Assessing Early Spring Soil Conditions & Devising a Plan of Attack

As the snow slowly recedes and farmers are itching to get the clover on (but not N yet, please!), now is a great time of year to make assessments on the condition the seedbed left by fall field work. You can learn a lot taking the time now to tour your fields, eye up some… Read more »

In the Dirt: Seedbed Utilization & the Role of Narrower Rows

Are narrower rows the way forward in the quest to achieve higher yields and maximize soil productivity? Possibly. Increased seedbed utilization as it relates to root growth and fertilizer distribution can play a significant role in crop development and may even increase yields. The key is in the decreased plant density — more plants per… Read more »

In the Dirt: Maximizing the Utility of the Moldboard Plow

While it may not be the go-to piece of equipment every year, the moldboard plow can still accomplish what other implements cannot in certain circumstances. The plow’s reputation has taken a few knocks, but with careful planning and judicious use, farmers can minimize the risk of plow pan and organic matter losses and put this… Read more »

In the Dirt: The Jackhammer Effect & the Impact on Moisture Movement

Every action on or in the soil profile has an impact on moisture moving up or down. Some passes and implement choices can have a positive impact on water infiltration, but not all do. Understanding how tillage implements impact water movement is one topic that Salford Machinery is exploring at their research site in the… Read more »

In the Dirt: How Deep do I need to set the Soil Ripper? A Soil Pit Provides Answers

After harvest is a great time to get out and scout soil conditions and start planning soil management passes for the fall and spring. One of the tillage questions that often comes up at field days is depth settings on implements, like a soil ripper. The answer to how deep you need to go is… Read more »

In the Dirt: Corn Root Mass & Development in Two Tillage Scenarios

What’s above ground is a direct reflection of what’s below when it comes to crop development, but under excellent growing conditions you may not notice significant differences between plants with good root development and those with poor development. At the onset of drought or nutrient stress, for example, you’ll start to see a difference right… Read more »

In the Dirt with Salford: Must-Have Tools for Planter Evaluation, Plus a Tillage To-Do List

Editor’s note: Welcome to a new series from — In the Dirt with Salford Machinery. This 10-part series will look at crop production from the ground up, focusing on soil management and the role tillage plays in managing this resource.  Many farmers have their favorite tools in their crop scouting kit, but how many… Read more »