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Senior Contributor

The cost of ruts in your field

Saw some info yesterday about the costs associated with ruts in your field. Basically, just based on the latest custom farming rates, it could cost you $15/acre to smooth out ruts and avoid future damage:


"So if 25% of a field were rutted and production in those areas reduced by 10%, that would mean a 2.5% yield loss," one expert says. "At 200 bushels/acre and corn at $6.00/bushel, that would be $30 lost/acre. So perhaps $50 cost per acre for rutting is not unrealistic." 


Do you have any issues with ruts this year? If so, have you had time to smooth them out this fall or are you waiting until spring?

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Veteran Advisor

Re: The cost of ruts in your field

I have 4 ruts in my field.  I went across the field, when it was too muddy, turned around, picked the rows on the way back, and scouted around for a field that was dryer.  In my experience, it is maybe more important to break up the compaction caused by the ruts, than smooth them over, if you only have time to do one or the other this fall.  Chiseling the ruts will loosen the soil over the winter, making them less severe come spring, at least in my fields.  However, if you have time for both, by all means smooth it over, as well.

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