What No-Tillers Are Doing Differently This Fall

Faced with higher costs, less moisture and changing cropping opportunities, No-Till Farmer readers are not sitting still, and they’re making significant cropping changes this fall.

When we asked No-Till Farmer readers to describe the critical changes they’re making this fall, we received a wide variety of ideas. Faced with needing to make changes based on rising expenses, environmental concerns and weather worries, these innovative no-tillers are adopting a number of different ideas to boost yields, trim costs and improve profitability.

Drought Worries

No-tilling in the northern Great Plains, Rob Baruth faced extremely dry cropping conditions this year. As a result, the Alpena, S.D., no-tiller will no-till more winter wheat this fall and additional field peas next spring to take full advantage of early spring moisture while trimming fertilizer costs.

Because of extremely dry conditions, Ola Andersson expects to see less tillage and less fertilization applied this fall around Arthur, N.D. Due to higher fuel prices and drought, he thinks the level of interest in no-till and reduced tillage has increased and has led to more custom no-till seeding and strip-tillage business.

Herbicide Application Changes

The biggest change Dan Miller will be making is applying most herbicides this fall on no-till corn and soybean ground. “We sprayed all of our corn acres last year in the fall to control winter annuals,” says the Carleton, Neb., no-tiller. “Since we spring-apply all fertilizer as a liquid, the spraying window is even shorter and shifting herbicide application to this fall will hopefully free up more time next spring.”

David Conklin also expects to apply herbicides to burn down weeds this fall rather than waiting until spring. The Dewitt, Mich…

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Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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