July 16, 2011 by ewinkle
|Ed Winkle is a certified crop advisor with HyMark Consulting in Martinsville, Ohio, and a 2000 recipient of the No-Till Innovators award. www.HyMarkConsulting.com. He no-tills 1,250 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and barley and uses cover crops, too.|
Hope this finds you all well, some of our good no-till friends are ill and we pray for them all. A lot of us older no-tillers are starting suffer from our age, and this crazy spring didn’t do one bit of good for us on that issue!
I’ve been bugging Darrell for a good tank-chemistry classroom for us no-tillers who spray. We’re finally getting our own sprayer and commercial pesticide license, which has brought back all the memories of trying to kill weeds before RR.
Farming was too easy for us no-tillers and all farmers when that stuff came out, and now we have so many resistant weeds we have to go do what we should have done in the first place: Read labels, follow them and learn about adjuvants and tankmix partners.
Ignite or Gramoxone are contact killers, so they require more water and different droplet size than glyphosate. Marestail, tall waterhemp and resistant pigweed or palmer amaranth has made us all re-think this spray-issue deal.
The crop in Ohio has really caught up, with fields tasseling now or wanting too, but it’s all confused. I wrote a blog on that issue this morning at www.hymark.blogspot.com. I hope it makes you think about your no-till cornfields because ours are confused!
Spraying is job one this week in Ohio, so farmers have all kinds of questions about adjuvants, glyphosate tie-up of manganese and other nutrients, how to kill tall weeds, how to kill weeds that didn’t die the first trip, and so forth and so on. Tons of questions, few answers!
We’re thankful though for the heat and moisture, and for places like the NNTC, where we can all go learn and talk about these things this winter. I have spent all my life killing weeds and learning how to build and save soil instead of tearing it down.
Life and Mother Nature hit me hard this spring! Hope to talk to you in January if not before.
Category: Ed Winkle Comments (0)
July 5, 2011 by dbruggink
I have three boys who play baseball. If you want any better explanation of how no-till can help your farm’s soils, all you need to do is see some of the baseball fields my boys play on.
This past week, our home field with its all-dirt infield was as hard as concrete. In fact, it would have been easier to use dynamite to find the post for second base. It took a lot of effort to dig up the dirt with a spaded shovel.
When I told my wife just how horrible of shape that field was in (not to mention you could see an erosion gulley near the third-base line), she said she was surprised because we’ve had a lot of rain and she thought that would have loosened up the soil.
That got me to thinking that perhaps a lot of no-till unbelievers must have the same perception.
Here’s the reality. It was because we’ve had so much rain that the exposed dirt was that hard. It had taken a pounding from rain and once it dried and baked under the sun, it became concrete. Imagine your seedling plants trying to emerge through that hard layer.
Folks talk a lot about the cost, time and fuel savings of no-till, but a bigger benefit, in my opinion, is that the residue — or trash, as some skeptics say — actually absorbs the force of the rain and protects the soil.
Yes, there are some definite things you need to manage in no-till that you don’t need to deal with in a tillage system. That takes effort, a willingness to learn, some patience and creative thinking.
But all you need to do is walk in a long-term no-till field and the skin infield of a local baseball field to see and feel the difference.
Category: Darrell Bruggink Comments (0)