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2. Fall Tillage
Many fields will have a chisel plow in operation close behind the combine trying to break up any compaction and begin burying cornstalks for degradation and disease elimination. But with dry weather, will the soil work smoothly or turn up in chunks that will create havoc with creating a good seedbed in the spring? That issue has a wide variety of answers, and will depend on the extent of any precipitation, whether there is any moisture left in the soil, and the soil type.
University of Illinois crop production specialist Emerson Nafzigersays so far the soil is working satisfactorily, and he says he is not surprised. “Tillage last fall and field operations this year all took place when soils were relatively dry, so there has been little of the compaction that normally results from heavy equipment on moist soils. While rainfall does not really cause much compaction – it simply can't produce the high weight loads needed – it does cause surface soils to run together to form a hard surface that often means more water running off slopes. So expect soils to be mellower than normal during fall tillage, and match the tillage operation, if any is needed, to this condition.”