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Liquid manure is a great source of nutrients, but application issues — mainly compaction and soil incorporation — have long been obstacles for no-tillers. Dave Beard thinks he’s found a system that no-tillers can work with.
The Frankfort, Ind., hog producer and corn-soybean farmer uses two different implements for applying manure, along with a dragline that allows him to pump manure on 600 acres within 1 mile of his storage facility.
One option is a DMI toolbar with a straight coulter and Dietrich shanks that allow for belowground incorporation. He runs a Genesis Tillage aerator that creates pockets on the soil surface for manure to settle and absorb into the ground.
Both implements, Beard says, allow him to apply manure with minimal soil disturbance so well that he has no-tilled all of his soybeans and nearly half of his corn acreage.
“With the Dietrich shanks, we are cutting a slot. The no-till purist will say you are not really no-tilling if you cut the slot, but you’ve got to incorporate the manure somehow,” says Beard, who manages Meadowlane Farm with his father, Mike. “If you didn’t know this applicator was in the field, you’d think that somebody came out and ran anhydrous on a diagonal.
“It really does a nice job when you get the pitch right. If you get the pitch wrong, it can be a bit like a plow. We’ve done it enough that we can set the pitch right so that it lifts the soil…