Field Rotation – Phase III (Discing)
After letting the field set for about a week, it was time to disc.
The process of discing breaks up the turned soil and sod resulting from plowing. We utilized a 12′ offset sod disc for this field, due to the presence of orchard grass and fescue, with both create heavy sod.
In this particular field, portions would have only required two passes, however, with the heavy grass sod covering more than 60% of the field, I made three passes to ensure the best possible seed bed.
Proper farming practices can minimize and even eliminate the number of passes necessary with either a box scraper or land plane following discing and prior to drilling wheat.
This graphic above shows the manner in which the field was plowed.
With the first pass discing, I traveled diagonal to the path of the plow. This allows for optimum break up of the sod with each pass and also aids in filling in the low spots in the furrows created by the plow.
The second pass with the disc is made across the path of the first pass. This increases the breakdown of the sod and continues to fill in low spots from plowing. If sod requires further reduction in size to create a seed bed, a third pass is made in the same direction of plowing. In fields with very heavy grass sod, a fourth, fifth and even sixth pass may be necessary. If that is the case, passes one, two and three are repeated. Breaking up the sod is important to allow for natural break down of the organic material, allow for proper air flow in the soil and create a bed which roots can properly develop and secure necessary nutrients for the plant.
The field is now ready for drilling (planting). Since I am planting an annual, wheat, further leveling is not necessary. Three passes with the disc created an adequate seed bed and leveled to field enough to allow for smooth cutting of the wheat for hay.
Stay tuned for phase IV.