Dry Plowing For Grain





We have land that we could very easily plow now with our traction engine

and improved plows, but the people here claim that it does not pay to

dry-plow, that is, before the land has had a good rain on it and the

vegetation has started. I believe in dry plowing. Two of our oldest

farmers in Merced county dry-plowed, that is, they commenced plowing as

soon as harvesting was over.



If the rainfall is small and likely to come in light showers, dry

plowing, if it turns up the land in large clods, might yield poorer

results than land which is plowed after rain, because there would be so

much moisture lost by drying out from the coarse surface when it came in

amounts not adequate for deep penetration. Plowing after the rain for

the purpose of killing out the foul stuff which starts is, however,

quite another consideration. It is a fact that dry plowing and sowing is

not now desirable in some places where it was formerly accepted, because

the land has become so foul as to give a rank growth of weeds which

choke out the grain at its beginning. Such land can be cleaned by one or

two shallow plowings and cultivations after there is moisture enough to

start the weeds to growing. These are local questions which you will

have to settle by observation. In a general way, it is true that opening

the surface of the ground before the rains, reduces the run-off and loss

of moisture, but whether there would be any loss of moisture by run-off

or not depends upon the slope of the land and also upon the way in which

the rain comes, and the total amount of moisture which is available for

the season.





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