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PFR Report: Land Rolling Soybeans

Published on Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Rolling ground is always an interesting topic of discussion. If you talk to farmers in the Northern U.S., they’ll say it’s a great way to push down rocks and create better field conditions for planting any crop, as well as for harvesting soybeans. Farmers further south will say it can promote branching and increase soybean yields when rolling once the soybeans are up.

So, in typical PFR fashion, we set out to try and understand just what all the fuss was about. Last year was the first year we conducted our Land Roller study at multiple PFR sites and boy, did we learn quite a bit.

Check out the videos below to check out a few highlights from our 2018 Land Roller Study including what we had set out hoping to learn and what our end of season results were.

Since we always test things to the extreme in PFR, we went above and beyond what the manufacturer recommendations were as it related to growth stage limits. By rolling later than recommended, we reduced stands drastically. You’ve probably heard of rolling soybeans to promote branching, and that is somewhat true. However, it was not because we affected the apical meristem, but because we reduced stand to the point we eliminated plant to plant competition.

This will be our second year of testing, and we hope to gain even more knowledge about the practice of using a land roller on soybean ground. We’ve even taken one of our land rollers up to our Cooperator in MN (Ag Revival) to test it in conditions that are more conducive to rolling ground; large rocks that need to be dealt with at or before planting time.

What we hope to see and analyze this year are the conditions before and after rolling the ground such as

  • Compaction potential
  • How effective it is at pushing down multiple sizes of rocks
  • What happens after the first big rain event

We will also evaluate the effects it has closer to harvest time such as:

  • Did multiple rain events expose rocks back out of the ground?
  • Is there a noticeable harvest speed and efficiency difference between what was rolled and what wasn’t? 

Land Rolling soybeans in Beck's 2018 PFR Study


Stay tuned throughout the season as we continue to test this method of rock suppression!

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Jim Schwartz

Jim Schwartz

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