Oleh Kharchuk, a chief agronomist of Lishchynske Agricultural LLC, speaks about efficient methods and techniques helping farmers make quality preparations of soil for winter.

Decide on a crop and prepare machinery

To improve soil fertility and structure and save resources at the same time, any agricultural producer has to cultivate their soil, using a differentiated approach. However, they first need to decide on a crop they want to grow on their field.

Each plant requires an individual approach. For example, corn has most of its roots in 30 to 60 cm soil layer and needs maximum soil loosening. It allows the roots to penetrate deeper and intake the necessary amount of nutrients and water. 

The biggest problem with corn growing is, perhaps, soil panning, which is a result of using heavy tractors on the field. To reduce the load on the soil, it is necessary to use a dual wheel system.

This solution allows distributing the weight on the far wheels more evenly and reduces wheel pressure on the soil during farm tasks. This approach will also increase machinery productivity and carrying capacity by preventing wheel slip.

If an agricultural producer can afford to improve their machinery fleet, they should buy caterpillar tractors to achieve the smallest degree of soil panning.

Mineral fertilizers: basic principles of application

Experience has shown that complex high solubility fertilizers prove to be most efficient when applied along with seeds sown. It is also necessary to take into account the specifics of sowing machinery. Almost all sowing units supplied by modern manufacturers are equipped with fertilizer coulters.

It is recommended to avoid in-furrow fertilizer placing to prevent seeds from touching chemicals. It is best to separate them with a small layer of soil. Thus, the fertilizer coulters place chemical agent granules 3 to 4 cm below the seed layer during the sowing process.

How Lishchynske Agricultural LLC cultivates its fields

Lishchynske ALLC practices deep plowing to a depth of 28 to 32 cm with furrow slice turning. Before cultivation, soil density is measured. A special device allows determining which areas have compactions, meaning a tillage pan layer, and then, the soil plowing depth is adjusted. 

“We use the Lemken Diamant 11 plows. The farm applied deep plowing for spring crops: corn and soybeans. To sow winter wheat, we used our Quivogne hookup to conduct deep loosening for 35 to 40 cm. We also analyzed all fields, using a penetrometer, and entered the data into the information analysis system Cropio. 

Besides, this year, we have installed loosening and tillage depth sensors. Using the Cropio system and a computer, an operator can determine the exact tillage depth,” concludes Oleh Kharchuk.