This is no record that will make the evening news, or ever the local newspaper, but a first none the less.
My cousin joined me in the field for first ever 10 furrow round. Up until now this field had never seen more than my 5 furrow plough. But on this Sunday that all changed when 5 more 18" furrows joined in the fun.
We had quite a team out there. This particular field has been in my family for 4 generations, and that first generation turned the soil one furrow at a time, while walking behind the plough and a team of horses. How times have changed.
Although I firmly believe this form of tillage is a net benefit to the soil, there is no shortage of differing opinions. So why do I plough? After all it takes a great deal of time an fuel, and the land will need to be worked at least 3 or 4 more times before planting. Well I have noticed a few things.
After the plough:
- the soil soaks up a heavy rain much quicker, less water pooling.
- the soil holds more water and shows remarkable resistance in times of drought
- that packed area from being on the land when its too wet gets broken up and begins to return to its original state
- I get the fertilizer deeper in the soil, so it won't wash out and supports deep root growth
- I generally get 3 to 10 bus/acre increased yield
- And above all, I really like to plough.
Since I don't own any no-till equipment I am required to work all my ground before planting. The ploughed soil always works nicer, its soft and creates an exceptional seed bed.
There are down sides, this ground can blow. If the weather conditions are just right in the spring, the sky will be black with dirt. Its a terrible thing to see.
Despite the costs and down side risks, rumour has it that plough sales are on up swing. This is one statistic that does not surprise me.
But if ever there was an implement that created such a wide swing in opinions, Its the plough, some love it, others won't touch it.
Love it or hate it, you can't beat a scene where two cousins are turning soil on a Sunday afternoon!