No-Till Briefs: March 2024

Cover Crops Aid Transition to No-Till

Data from the Conservation Technology Information Center’s 2022-23 National Cover Crop Survey found that 60% of farmers said cover crops made the transition to no-till easier. In comparison, 18% reported that the transition was not affected by cover crops, and 8% thought covers made switching to no-till harder. The remaining 14% said the situation was not applicable to their operations. Top responses for how cover crops improve the transition to no-till include improved soil structure, better moisture management, reduced compaction, better weed control and expedited soil health improvement.

Myers receives Leopold Conservation Award

Myers Family Farm in Spring Mills, Pa., is the 2023 Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award recipient. Joel Myers’ passion for conservation agriculture and willingness to educate others about no-till, cover crops and planting green has led to increased use of conservation practices in Pennsylvania. A now-retired agronomist, Myers hosts research trials, workshops and field days at Myers Family Farm and was a driving force behind the creation of the Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance. 

Subsurface Band minimizes phosphorus loss

Merrin Macrae from the University of Waterloo in Canada recommends applying phosphorus in a subsurface band at planting to minimize nutrient loss without having to resort to tillage. “But in some landscapes, especially if you have a lot of tile drainage in clays and preferential flow between the surface and those clays, farmers might be better off with a rotational conservation-till to break up that stratification rather than leaving it on the surface,” she says.  

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