I am quoting an excerpt from one of Dan Davidson’s blogs called, “N Self Sufficiency,” quoting Rafiq Islam from Ohio State.
“No-till is a challenge for the first few years until the operator gets experience and the soil gets acclimated.” Islam added, “No-till farmers face yield reductions right off the bat — 20% to 25% — and those yield reductions last a good 4 or 5 years until the soil adjusts to the new production system. Also, they face compaction issues, weed control problems, wet fields and the immobilization of nitrogen because of the increased carbon being stored in the surface soil.”
This broad statement may be true in Ohio, Illinois, etc… the higher-rainfall states. I have not experienced a yield drag on no-till corn into soybeans in a corn-soybean rotation in semi-arid northeast Nebraska.
I find the generalization excessive and frustrating. I think 20% to 25% is a pretty strong statement, maybe the information should be released with a caveat correlated to the higher yearly rainfall issues combined with poorly drained soils.
Most weed control problems are derived from the producer’s reliance on use of continuous and/or limited weed-control technologies. We still have the old herbicides that work.
Compaction shouldn’t be a problem if the producer has been responsible with tillage use in his conventional-till operation.
Any of you out there care to share your experiences?