Today’s large and heavy ag implements are putting pressure on your operation. Pressure in the form of soil compaction. As you’ll learn below, soil compaction doesn’t just hurt your yields today: deep soil compaction can eat away at your yields for a decade or longer.
However, agriculture is an industry of innovation. Today, you have tools available to reduce soil compaction while also saving time and fuel. How do you do it? One strategy is to upgrade your heaviest tractors and implements with IF or VF radial tires.
How Many Dollars am I Losing to Compaction?
Soil compaction is stealing your profits—even if you haven’t noticed it in your fields. In fact, it’s probably one of the biggest profit-stealers on your farm. At NTS Tire Supply, we help farmers fight back against yield-robbing compaction and reach higher levels of profitability.
Research has shown that soil compaction can slash yields by up to 15% in a single year. It can also slash your yields for over a decade—even with tillage and no additional compaction.
For example, if you’re used to pulling in 200 bushel per acre corn yields, you probably could have topped the hopper at 230 bushels per acre had it not been for soil compaction. And unfortunately, the loss doesn’t stop here. Even if you stopped causing new soil compaction (which is unlikely), you will probably lose another 80 bushels per acre over the next 4 growing seasons. That adds up to more than 110 bushels per acre lost in 5 years.
To put this into a dollar amount, let’s say you can get $3.75 per bushel for your corn and you grow 1,000 acres of it each year.
Your lost profit potential over those 5 growing seasons is over $400,000. Would it be worthwhile to work toward adding this profit back to your bottom line?
Why IF/VF Tires Crush Compaction and Boost Yields
The answer is straightforward: IF/VF radials put more tire—a larger footprint—on the ground thanks to lower air pressures and more sidewall flex. This larger footprint puts less pressure on your fields, which helps prevent deep-soil compaction from lowering your yields and profitability.
IF radials can carry the same load as a standard radial at 20% less pressure.
VF radials can carry the same load as a standard radial at 40% less pressure.
Or, you can increase their maximum loads by 20% or 40% above a standard radial’s limits.
IF and VF tires are an evolution of the standard radial design first pioneered by Michelin in the early 2000s. They bring together advanced rubber compounds and highly technical sidewalls, with a complex network of steel belts, to deliver the larger, longer footprints that will help you decrease compaction and yield loss in your fields.
It’s as if You Have 9 Tires on the Ground Instead of 8
A big 4WD with 9 tires instead of 8 would be a strange sight—not something you’d be eager to show off to your neighbors. Upgrading to VF tires would deliver the increased flotation and traction without the puzzled looks. Here’s an example using the Firestone Maxi Traction Radial:
Standard 710/70R42 Maxi Traction Radial
Combined Tire Footprint: 5,040 square inches (630 square in. per tire)
VF 710/70R42 Maxi Traction Radial
Combined Tire Footprint: 5,592 square inches (699 square in. per tire)
Thanks to the larger footprint, an 8-tire duals setup with the VF Maxi Traction would, in effect, add a 9th tire’s worth of flotation and traction to your 4WD when compared to the standard radial setup.
Two More IF/VF Benefits You Can’t Afford to Forget
1. You’ll save time & fuel with more traction. Those larger, longer, rectangular footprints get more lugs on the ground at once. This means more grip with every turn of your tractor’s engine. You’ll not only save time with less slipping, you’ll save fuel too, which will boost your bottom line.
2. You’ll have more armor against stubble damage. Something’s going to break—it’s a law of nature (or farming, at least). But IF and VF radials deliver a higher level of hazard protection thanks to those technical sidewalls and rubber compounds we mentioned above. Razor-sharp GMO stalks will have a harder time bringing your operation to halt with an untimely tire puncture.
Solve Your Compaction Problem with a Phone Call
At NTS Tire Supply, we’ve helped more than 7,000 farmers with their traction problems, including compaction. It pays to trust the experts when it comes to identifying the root cause of compaction on your fields.
Are your combine's tires to blame?
How about those high-PSI truck tires on your center-fill planter?
What about the narrow “pizza-cutter” tires on your sprayer?
Rather than spending hours digging through online catalogs, talk to one of our traction experts, share a few details about your operation, and we’ll recommend the best tires for your operation and budget that will help you lower compaction and achieve higher yields.
Your Success Depends on Tire Pressure
If you invest in IF or VF radials, you’ll have to pay close attention to tire pressure. In order to see the benefits we’ve discussed here, you must correctly set your tire pressure for specific applications. If you don’t, problems such as power hop, road lope, and uneven wear can rear their ugly heads. Some tire manufacturers have online calculators that will give you the correct pressures after you provide them with information such as axle position, number of tires, and load.
You can always call NTS Tire Supply too, and we’ll be happy to help you set your tire pressures.
Want to Maximize Your Tire Investment?
Your ideal solution may be a central tire inflation system. Since you have to set your tire pressures for specific conditions and implements to maximize the benefit of IF/VF technology, you may end up making frequent adjustments. And let’s be honest: Time is always an issue during the busy seasons. If you’re crunched for time, will you be able to spend the precious minutes needed to readjust your tire pressures?
A central tire inflation system, on the other hand, makes pressure adjustments easier and more effective. For example, you can set a higher pressure for high-speed road travel and then—with the touch of a button—drop your tires to their minimum safe pressure for maximum flotation and traction in the field. No more compromise air pressures that jeopardize tire longevity on the road and performance in the field.
Start Rolling To Bigger Yields Today
When it comes to making sense of the growing number of tire options available to your farm, there’s no substitute for experience. Talk with an expert at NTS Tire Supply about possible compaction issues on your farm and start increasing your yields with the best tires. IF/VF tires may be just another expense to some, but we look at them as a way to drive your farm forward and start reclaiming lost yields and profitability.