Top 9 Tips Offered For Boosting No-Till Fields

A past winner of the No-Till Innovator Award and owner of HyMark Consulting in Martinsville, Ohio, offers the following tips for maximizing your no-till yields.

 Your no-till planter setup can depend on your conditions and equipment. Talk to others who are no-tilling successfully and do your homework, including research on the Internet. 

1. Set Your Planter Right

Your no-till planter setup can depend on your conditions and equipment. Talk to others who are no-tilling successfully and do your homework, including research on the Internet.

We take the coulter out of the row area to lift the soil lightly beside and above the seed. Our goal is to end up with the same soil density above every seed. And we want that coulter to be 2 to 3 inches off the side of the row to properly place nitrogen and sulfur. We also like to bathe the seed with a little bit of pop-up fertilizer, either liquid or dry.

We use a half-rate of a pyrethroid insecticide with our fertilizer mix. Always make sure that the fertilizer, if it’s liquid, mixes with the insecticide or fungicide that you might be adding. A key part of the no-till planter setup is the gauge wheel. I recommend the Case IH gauge wheel.

2. Test Soil And Plant Tissue

Don’t guess at soil tests; make sure you’re meeting the crop’s nutrient needs. It’s extremely valuable for me to pull my own samples, so I see the soil quality as I’m probing. You can see the difference from field to field, and soil type to soil type. Also, sample 1 to 2 inches deep wherever you sample at 8 inches.

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Ed Winkle

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