Ohio State University Extension
Department of Horticulture and Crop Science
2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1044
Minimizing Soil Compaction During Harvesting
Excessive soil compaction is possible when producers must rush to
complete harvesting before winter. Rainfall potential increases
from October to November and the odds of being forced into
harvesting on wet fields increases. Producers should consider the
following suggestions as means of reducing potential soil
- Delay harvesting until soils dry or freeze to the point where
they will support equipment without excessive compression.
This option is not acceptable if conditions for significant
harvest losses (lodging, etc.) are present.
- Do not take grain carts or trucks into the field. Arrange
harvesting such that combine unloading is done at the ends of
- Reduce the amount of grain carried by the combine. Empty tanks
- If carts or trucks must be taken into the field, try to drive
in the same tracks as the combine whenever possible to minimize
the total area compacted.
- Use carts or trucks with as many axles per unit load as
possible to reduce pressure per unit area.
- CAUTION: Adding tires or substituting tires may aid in
harvesting, but may not reduce compaction.
Donald J. Eckert, Associate Professor
All educational programs conducted by Ohio State University Extension
are available to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard
to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, national origin,
gender, age, disability or Vietnam-era veteran status.
Keith L. Smith, Associate Vice President for Ag. Adm. and
Director, OSU Extension.
TDD No. 800-589-8292 (Ohio only) or 614-292-6181
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