For more than two decades, Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie has worked to understand how uniform soil density and adopting a vertical system sets the stage for higher yields. Today, vertical tillage is a concept that is well known across farm country, although it’s not always well understood.
“Every tool has a specific range of things it’s designed to do.” Ferrie explains. “But vertical tillage is not a single tool it’s a system.”
A comprehensive five-year Farm Journal Test Plot that concluded in 2000 showed that creating and maintaining uniform soil density leads to yield increases of up to 27 bu. per acre. This effort is ongoing as Ferrie continues his soil density studies with new machinery and changing practices.