Tilling Not Recommended For SD Farmers
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
April 01, 2013 5:14 PM
Dry, dry, dry, for Central and Southeastern South Dakota this is one word used a lot to describe the region.
And with another planting season fast approaching the Department of Agriculture is telling farmers to think twice before tilling their fields.
While some farmers avoid tilling altogether, others say they need to till to give their crops a chance.
“In the fall we'll work up the ground with a disk ripper and then in the spring we'll come in with a finisher and get it ready for planting,” said Dave Poppens.
The drought took half of Dave Poppens crop last year and despite the department of agriculture saying ‘tillage is the worst thing for South Dakota soil right now,’ Poppens says his fields need it.
“We do that here. We have heavier soils and they don't drain as well. So, normally we like to get them worked up in the fall so that in the spring when the conditions are ready, the solid temps warm up quick for us and then we can get in the ground a little earlier,” said Poppens.
While Tilling may be a concern for agricultural specialists, the only thing that will prevent a repeat of last summer's drought is a little h2o.
“I'm kind of concerned going into the spring that we're going to need some timely rains to get the crops growing,” said Poppens.
And with warmer weather on the horizon and the ground thawing, Dave Poppens looks to start planting soon.
“Hopefully by the 20th of April. 20th-25th we'd like to be in the ground planting,” said Poppens.
As farmers get back out into the fields, some say, despite the warnings, tilling is needed for a good crop.