“You don’t want any beans at the hook stage,” said the Altona-based farm production adviser with Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives. “Only roll if you have some stones or dirt that will cause you some harvest issues.”
If you have to roll, wait until later in the day when it’s warmer and plants are less brittle, he said.
Rolling pushes down stones, flattens dirt clods and levels the field making soybeans easier and faster to harvest in the fall, while also reducing the risk of stones damaging the combine.
The flatter the field, the lower the combine pickup can be set making it easier to harvest low-hanging seed pods.
When rolling fields farmers should check to see if plants are breaking.
“That’s really important. Don’t do a 160-acre test strip,” Lange said.
Ideally, soybean fields should be rolled shortly after seeding, before the crop emerges, but not when the soil is wet, he said. Rolling wet soil causes compaction and can create a crust making it difficult for soybean seedlings to emerge.