The way to a successful stubble cultivation
The way to a successful
Post-harvest is pre-harvest
Each round of tillage releases nutrients and breaks down humus. In that sense, the ground should be tilled “as much as necessary and as little as possible”. A spade test should be carried out before each round of tillage to provide clarity on the soil condition. Tillage has a significant effect on the soil and soil life. Arable farmers may pursue very different goals with their tillage. Depending on the measure and the implement used, various goals can be achieved to a greater or lesser extent. Therefore, arable farmers must be very clear about their goals and priorities before selecting implements and tillage measures.
Basic goal of stubble cultivation
- Loosening the soil
- Breaking up crusting, mud silting
- Breaking up compressed areas
- Repairing compression from tractor tyres
- Increasing the pore volume
(aerating the soil, increasing the water storage capacity)
Mixing in organic matter (harvest residues, compost, farmyard manure, etc.)
- “Injection” of soil life
- Promotion of rotting in organic matter (disease and pest prevention)
- Efficient transformation of organic matter into humus
- Pulling weeds out, cutting them off, burying them or covering them with soil
- Stimulating germination in weed seeds and volunteer seeds from the harvested crop
- Exposure and drying out the roots of root-propagated weeds
(couch grass, thistles, etc.)
- Preparing the seedbed for drilling
- Preparing the seed layer for the next crop
Regulating the water balance
- Avoiding unproductive evaporation in dry conditions
- Encouraging evaporation/drying out in soils that are too moist
To go into each of the objectives in more detail here would break the mould. Therefore, the following lines will focus on the 1st stubble cultivation with weed control.
With a focus on weed control, the first pass of stubble cultivation should be as shallow as possible (approx. 4–5 cm / 1.6-2") – using a shallow cultivator, for example – to encourage weeds and volunteer cereals to germinate. Further, the soil should be penetrated at full width (to control root-propagated weeds). When dealing with root-propagated weeds especially, intensive reconsolidation has a negative effect because residual weeds that are pressed down can often sprout up again and even propagate.
For this reason, a lightweight trailed implement such as a cage roller should be used in combination with a harrow. A harrow brings weeds up to the surface and loosens the residual soil from the roots. As a result, weeds dry out faster. To successfully treat root-propagated weeds, a few days of dry weather (hot, dry air, wind) are required.
In the next few weeks you will find the details of the 2nd stubble cultivation here in the news or at www.einboeck.at/en/handbook.
We wish you a high-yield harvest and look forward to seeing your stubble cultivation pictures!
Active soil is a prerequisite for healthy crops and consistent yields!