Soil health practices help fields hold up in wet conditions
Levi Goetz was leery rolling into the field to plant corn after a 2-inch rain, but it was already mid-May. Time was starting to run out.
It turned out he had nothing to worry about. He had to steer around a few potholes of standing water, but he could roll his quad-track rig and 24-row planter through much of the field without getting stuck in the mud or leaving tread marks that would make it hard for crops to grow. He put in 80 acres of corn that evening.
“Everything worked out how it was supposed to,” he said, reflecting on the spring of 2019 when wet conditions throughout much of the Midwest left farmers unable to plant millions of acres.
South Dakota had more acres claimed under the prevented planting provisions of crop insurance than any other state. Now a year later, farmers are finding that where they took care to tend to those prevent plant acres, they are having an easier time getting their 2020 crops off to a good start.
Goetz farms with family near Selby in north central South Dakota, where fields are once again wetter than normal. He also does custom work for other farmers, and he was planting corn for neighbor Doug Sieck when he saw the benefits soil health practices can have in wet conditions…..