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Irrigated Agriculture dammer diking

Using Crop Residues to get out of the Dammer Diking – Tillage Cycle

Previous corn field disked to smooth over dammer diker holes, then planted. Note bare soil.
Previous corn field disked to smooth over dammer diker holes, then planted. Note bare soil.

Farmers wanting to maintain more crop residue cover on their fields are often prevented from doing so by previous dammer diking. While dammer diking controls runoff under center pivot systems, it also leaves large holes in the field, making it impossible to plant a following crop without tillage. The tillage required to smooth the soil surface for planting also buries most of the previous crop’s residues. The bare soil is then susceptible to surface crusting, poor infiltration, and runoff. To fix this, farmers dammer dike their fields, continuing the dammer-diking – tillage cycle. The way out of this cycle is to maintain a crop residue cover on the soil surface.  » More …