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Wisconsin Farmers' Institutes / Wisconsin Farmers' Institutes : a hand-book of agriculture
Bulletin No. 11 (1897)

Convey, Thomas
Tillage,   pp. 21-27 PDF (2.0 MB)


Page 22


22           WISCONSIN FARMNRS' INgrlrUTB.
On the other hand, in those parts oK
the state where they run their farms
very much to grass and like to top-
dress that grass land with manure,
they find that spring plowing gives
good results. In that case the tex-
ture of the soil is such that the
spring plowing can be done early and
the soil reduced to the proper condi-
tions to receive the seed with com-
paratively Httle labor. Besides, it re-
moves the coarser part of the manure,
the liquid portions of which have
been leached out into the soil; it re-
moves the coarser portion of manure
out of the way of cultivation, and in
a measure delays the sprouting of
weed seeds, so that crops will get a
start before the weeds are started,
and it will be easy to care for the
crop later on.  In  the majority  of
cases on light lands this will give
better results, because the growing
crop on the land tends to retain the
fertility, and guards against the sur-
face washing and blowing of the soil
that you find prevails in some por-
tions of toe state. Where the farms
have been run largely to grain or
even corn, and the mechanical condi-
tions are not just right, and where
it does not partake of the character
of new land, not being light, mellow,
and Inclined to dry out early in the
spring, fall plowing should be de-
pended upon. After all I question the
utility of that style of farming, un-
less, of course, your land is of such a
character that you cannot get on
there sufficiently early In the spring
in order to get in the crop In good
time, because we all realize that the
early crop is the paying crop.
Deep vs. Shallow Plowing.
Now, with reference to the matter
of plowing deep or shallow. It is a
subject that every farmer should
carefully study from his own stand-
point. Some subsoils are compara-
tively rich in fertility. There, of
course, the soil may be deepened by
. O - PLUUIS uu bUU &1y*1-. &Md
deep ploWLIAg, DUU &U0pan-
be a little deeper each year until the
desired depth is obtained. Where
grams or manure is plowed under Of
course it is better to plow shallow
unles it might be for a root crop And
Df course deeper plowing would have
to be depended upon in that came, but
for a corn crop on grams land, and es
pecially grass land top-dresd with
manure, shallow plowing-four or
five inches in depth-will give good
results. There is a serious objection
to shallow plowing, and that is, the
deeper soil is prepared, the greater
the capacity of the soil to take up and
retain moieture, so that if the soil is
deep it will take up the rainfall to the
full point of saturation. It has been
determined that land prepared to the
depth of ten inches will take up two
inches of rainfall, which would be an
extremely heavy rain, of course.
Narrowing.      -
Proper use is not made of the har-
row; that is, we neglect to harrow
when we should and in that WIay save
a great deal of moisture in the soil.
Fall plowed land that is intended for
a late crop should be harrowed early
in the spring. The object should be
to simply drag on the surface, kill
whatever weed seeds have germinated
and prevelt the evaporation Of
moisture. Now, in case the land is
fall-plowed and you wish to put in a
late crop of corn or potatoes, it would
be better not to try to level the whole
surface; it would be better to harrow
lengthwise rather than crosswise and
leave it rough. Successive harrow-
*    _Iin vt h.A i ..rn ror mnditio
Ingo WI" Ken A -'W-
to put in your crop, and in that e
the cultivation necessary to take care
of the crop will be in a large meamlre
done, even before you sow the crop,
and the moisture retained in the soIL
There is another valuable feature in
this, and that is that it is so much
easier to get the soil in proper condi-
tion when it has the right amount of
moisture in it. Slight harrowing
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