Subsoil no deeper than necessary

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

Recent periods of heavy and continual rains in some areas of Michigan have resulted in harvesting equipment being in fields under wet soil conditions. This has resulted in compacted soil conditions that will need to be remediated by chiseling when soil conditions are dry enough to fracture and loosen. Chiseling two inches deeper than the compaction zone is adequate. Chiseling deeper only burns more fuel. Push a tile rod or soil probe into the ground in several spots to determine the depth where the compaction zone or layer exists. Resistance is usually quite noticeable where the soil is compact and once you get through that layer the rod will push more easily. If there is no noticeable increase in resistance, there is probably no need for deep chiseling.

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